A Two-Way Street
Volunteers are an important part of the Achilles community and take on numerous roles, such as:
- Helping disabled runners become familiar and proficient with special equipment
- Participating in weekly or bi-weekly workouts
- Providing guidance and running advice during races and marathon
- Helping out with race-day logistics.
While their general role is to accompany disabled runners during the course of a workout or race, on any given day an Achilles volunteer will function as a member’s eyes, ears, guide, and motivator. But ask any Achilles volunteer why they do it, and you’ll hear the same answer, over and over: they get back as much as they give, and more.
"Walking as a Volunteer with Achilles makes you a better person. The first time I walked with a visually impaired athlete during the Achilles Marathon in Prospect Park, she was able to tell me about the areas we were walking by. The birds and the open fields. I had the vision but missed what she heard by walking with me. I have learned to take better notice of the beauty in everyday life. We learn that you can accomplish whatever you want, there are only abilities no disabilities in life you just have to take advantage of them." - Achilles Volunteer
How to Volunteer
To become an Achilles volunteer you must complete a volunteer application form. Download a pdf of the paper form below and fax or mail it to us.
42 West 38th Street
*NYC VOLUNTEERS! Please click here to find out about all the local Achilles workouts and events!
This form is a General Volunteer Form. It is NOT a valid application for the NYC Marathon. The specific NYC Marathon Guide Application will become available here on our site beginning July 1st and will come down a few short weeks later. Mark your calendar if you're interested in applying.
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
Achilles has some of the most amazing volunteers, many of whom have been with us for years! We want to recognize them here every month. To nominate someone, please email Fiona.
This month, we highlight volunteer Steve Chapman!
How and when did you first hear about Achilles?
My wife, Trish, heard about Achilles from another parent of a disabled athlete. I became involved with Achilles in July, 2014, when my daughter, Eleanor, began running as an Achilles athlete.
When did you first become a volunteer?
My first day as a volunteer guide was in March of 2016.
What has that experience been like for you?
It's been a rewarding experience and I'm proud to be associated with such a fine organization. I've come to respect and admire the athletes and guides, and have made some good friends. Aside from that it's just a lot of fun!
Describe one or two special memories being an Achilles volunteer.
One of my fondest memories is when I drove one of the vans full of athletes and dogs on the way back to Manhattan in a snowstorm after a fun day of tubing in the hills of New Jersey. The stories and laughter from the athletes helped take my mind off the storm and my fear we were going to slide off the highway!
Please name one or two Achilles athletes you have guided.
As a volunteer I mostly care for service dogs while their owners are running during Achilles workouts and races, and during various Achilles outings such as snow tubing, sailing, etc. It involves walking the dogs, playing with them and making sure they have plenty of water in hot weather. I look at it as a big responsibility and appreciate that the owners trust me to take care of their very close and important companions. I've had the pleasure of watching and becoming friends with Tanner, Arrow, Alexa, Hermie, Hobbs, Kit, Maggie, Jo-jo and others. I've also helped out on a couple of occasions by driving rental vans with athletes and guides to out-of-town events, and have provided general assistance during events such as sailing and snow tubing with or without service dogs present.
Mention a little bit about your background.
I am retired from government service and currently work for a consulting firm that provides financial investigative, asset tracing and recovery services. My interests include fishing and watching sports, old movies and birds. I also play a little blues harmonica and have enjoyed jamming with other Achilles musicians.