[DISCLAIMER: I have never made a YouTube video before, so go easy on me, it will get better as I go along!]
Week one of #Project42, where for one year I am volunteering with a new non-profit once a week, wherever I am in the world. July marks the first month, and what better place to begin than my home-away-from home, New York City.
Week One: New York, New York
The mission of Achilles International is to enable people with disabilities to participate in exercise programs that promote personal achievement. They focus mostly on running clubs and organized races like 5k’s, half-marathons & triathlons, in-fact they are the largest group enabling athletes with disabilities to participate in the NYC Marathon. Their core belief is that running is a tool for accomplishing one main objective: to bring hope, inspiration, and the joys of achievement to all.
Volunteering with Achilles is so easy! It’s a very small time commitment (2 hrs max) and all you have to do is find a chapter in your region, and see what days the group meets for running club. Shoot them an email letting them know you will be there, and just show up. Don’t worry if they don’t email you back, all staff are volunteers and have busy schedules, but they are expecting and accepting of drop-ins.
Show up 10 mins before the start time at the meeting point, Engineers Corner on 90th and 5th, and look for athletes and guides wearing neon green jerseys. Don’t be nervous to approach the group, they are eager to get to know new faces & it’s the best way to find the athlete for you to guide.
How to Volunteer:
Don’t live in NYC? Don’t worry! Achilles has chapters all across the United States.
Just for Fun…While You Are In The Area:
If you have time, check out Met Roof Garden Cafe & Martini Bar, it’s one of the best kept secrets in NYC. It is a little touristy, in terms of overpriced drinks and limited cocktail choices, but one of the best views of Central Park and Midtown. Be sure to check hours, as the roof cafe is only open during the summer months. The best part is every season there is different experiential art installation every summer.
To get in, enter through Met General Admission, price is donation based, and ask one of the staff how to get to the elevator bank taking you to the rooftop. It’s a little tricky to find, so don’t be discouraged if you get lost!
After my first run with Achilles, I guided Patrick in a Prospect Park 5k. Can’t wait to stay involved whenever I am in NYC.