Achilles International

Rating: 4.85 stars   13 reviews

Issues: Sports

Location: 42 West 38th St Ste. 400 New York NY 10018 USA

Mission: Achilles International’s mission is to enable people with all types of disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics, with a focus on distance running.  Achilles promotes personal achievement, enhanced self-esteem, improved health and fitness, and lowers barriers between disparate types of people.

2010 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I've been with Achilles since I was 6 years old - first as an Achilles Kid, then a member of their adult program, and just recently, I got the chance to intern with them over the summer. I've said it before and I will say it again: I love Achilles! Everyone at Achilles is so warm, welcoming and encouraging; they make you believe that you can do anything you set your mind to and that -the feeling that you CAN cross that finish line - is what makes you push yourself harder and achieve what you never thought possible. Thank you so much, Achilles!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Every aspect of my life! Achilles gave me confidence, strength (physical or otherwise), and a new appreciation for life in general.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Get more people involved through donating and volunteering.

Rating: 3 stars  

I have been a member for about two and half yrs. Last yr was my first and hopefully not my last marathon, I can't say enough about the encouragement I received from the staff and other members always making me push myself harder to get to where I wanted to go. That is why I decide to give back, I now am volunteering my time and love it!
Achilles International keeps rock'n'rollin' GO ACHILLES!!!!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I am so in awe of the organization as a whole, what they do and the time they put in to make an event happen is amazing

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It runs well, if only more people knew so they could donate!

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I have been a part of the Achillies Freedom Team since it's exsistence and have been nothing but satisfied with the staff and the program it has to offer.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Personal gain and motivation and determenation with my own disabilities.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

If they had more funds they could have a bigger outreach.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The bond of taking peers to next level in life achievments. And everyone being treated like family.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

They are by far the best staff and volunteers I have ever dealt with. Professional, kind, and heart felt about how they can help.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

It could go beyond it's limits as what it does now and reach many more disabled people. And do much more for the ones that are already a part of the organization. If any organizations deserves it's Achillies.

Ways to make it better...

It's also been good.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

Limited funds with more funds they could have more full time staffers and do much more for them and volunteers and clients.

One thing I'd also say is that...

People that give other people a chance in life give more than what anyone can physically see.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

Rating: 5 stars  

11 people found this review helpful

I was a volunteer to assist with the Achilles Freedom Team at the Bank of America Marathon in Chicago. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I'm a veteran and proudly support organizations which help those wounded in action. Achilles goes the extra mile. They go to the hospitals and give the wounded goals to work toward and not just easy goals demanding goals. It is amazing to see the athletics compete doing something I can't do and I have all my limbs. They inspired me to the point I had to volunteer again. I love being out there and helping to make the goals a reality for the athletics. They are amazing people with amazing stories. Achilles provides a road to recovery which not only emphasizes the physical but also stregthens the mental. The attitude of fun is contagious and inspiring. I cannot say enough about the experienc I had volunteering with this wonderful group of people.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering during marathons and seeing what pride the athletics have in their accomplishments.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the fun we have while doing hard work.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

enthusiastic and excited to be doing the job they love.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

help more wounded soldiers see a light at the end of the tunnel during and after recovery.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-11-01

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

I can't say enough about the Achiiles Freedom Team. Four years ago I met the staff of the Freedom Team. I'm a retired Marine and amputee. I was asked if I wanted to race a handcrank wheelchair. The next four years I participated in approx. 15 marathons. The best thing about beinng around the Freedom Team is what I have seen them do for our wounded. I have seen so many kids on the start of a marathon weekend have the look of why am I doing this and I'm embarrased to be seen out as a amputee. Then you see them three days later and they our total different people. Selfconfident and with a feeling like wow ! If I just did a marathon I can do anything with the rest of my life.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Various marathons

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The work they do with our wounded Veterans

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

I come in contact with all the Freedom Team Staff at Marathon events

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Help so many of our wounded troops

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2009-12-01

Rating: 5 stars  

6 people found this review helpful

My journey to support the Freedom Team of Wounded and Disabled Veterans is a personal one. In 2007 my brother Luigi Marciante Jr. was deployed to Iraq. I remember feeling so empty and desperate to “do something” that I decided the best way to channel my energy was to develop a team, participate in the Hope & Possibility and donate our money to the Freedom Team. Our team name was Pay It Forward because I believed that if people would adopt this very basic concept and support our veterans, think of all the great things we could accomplish. Sadly on September 20th 2007 we were informed that my brother, Cpl. Luigi Marciante Jr. had been killed by an improvised explosive device. That was a day that sadly I always kept in the back of my mind as a worst case scenario but its one of those things that you pray never happens to you. I don’t remember when exactly but shortly after his death, I called Mary Bryant, Vice-President, and Founder of the Achilles Freedom Team of Wounded Veterans. I knew the best way to honor my brother’s memory was to dedicate my life to supporting disabled and wounded veteran causes, Achilles would be my vehicle to do so. That was when “Team S.O.S. – Support Our Soldiers” in honor of fallen and wounded veterans was born. I am very proud to say that since 2008 we have raised over $40,000.00 for the Endow A Chair Program and my brother’s name graces the back of many chairs along with some other very brave young men. Achilles is an amazing organization for many reasons but for our family it is has given us an opportunity to support the disabled veteran community while honoring the memory of our loved ones. GO ACHILLES!!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

my involvement with the Endow A Chair program. There is no greater feeling than presenting a chair to a member of the Freedom Team. It is an honor and it makes my soul smile. I have to thank Achilles for giving me this wonderful experience.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

the personal connection. I feel so connected to Achilles not only through my fundraising but the very basic human connection. Yes, I am a donor but I receive emails, phone calls and holiday cards. They have made me feel part of the Achilles family.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

AMAZING!!! The employees and volunteers that make it work are the most wonderful, compassionate individuals I have ever met. I am grateful to have them in my life and The relationships I have forged with Achilles I believe will last a lifetime.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

my goodness.....that wonders Achilles could do! I would put a chapter in every state to support the efforts of disabled veterans across this nation and I would happily head up the New Jersey office!

Ways to make it better...

my experiences have never been anything short of fantastic - I don't think they could make it any better.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

money. You need lots and lots of money to do wonderful things. I will always fundraise for them but I can only hope that more people become involved to support the fantastic work they do.

One thing I'd also say is that...

I don't know of any greater non profit worthy of this award than Achilles International.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

Achilles was introduced to me about 12 years ago, and I immediately fell in love with the REAL PROGRAM it provides for all people with disabilities, to participate in mainstream marathons all around the country! The Achilles FREEDOM TEAM of Wounded Veterans focuses specifically on our men and women returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, and allows them to set a goal, and train to compete in a marathon not up on a pedestal, yet in their wheelchairs on the course with everyone else. Focusing on their strength and endurance, they ACHIEVE what most Americans don't even dare try ... 26.2 miles. I've run 10 marathons myself, and knowing that amazing sense of accomplishment, that you can do so much more ... is what is being offered by Achilles. Incredible program, great sense of "family" and support - it's become a major focus of my life, because I believe in what is being done, without huge amounts of money being spent on administrative paperwork and excess staff. BRAVO ACHILLES!!!

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing recently wounded veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan CROSS THE FINISH LINE of a marathon ... in LA, Boston, Chicago, DC and NYC!!!

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have more staff available for recruiting and training at VA hospitals all across the country, and not just Walter Reed, Balboa and Brooke.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

seeing the FACES of these men and women when they cross the line, and get a medal put around their neck, while their spouse and family looks on.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

extremely dedicated, personable, and willing to help wherever needed.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

Have it's own 'CLUBHOUSE' where athletes could meet, and history could be displayed like a museum of accomplishment of our wounded vets, mentored by other athletes with disabilities. More trainers could be available to recruit and get vets into marathons

Ways to make it better...

MORE veterans could have been part of the team. Often either the funds are limited since the vets and their families participate at no cost to them,OR it's a marathon that limits the slots available for the vets.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

continued fundraising in a weakened economy ... men and women are still returning from the war and NEED THE FOCUSED attention and program that Achilles can offer, without huge delays in paperwork.

One thing I'd also say is that...

Many organizations have millions of dollars, and don't come close to putting out the program Achilles does with their limited budget. Imagine if Achilles had more to work with.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

We at Air Compassion for Veterans have worked with Achilles International now for two months. We have been providing free flights for wounded warriors and their adversely affected family members so they can participate in the wonderful events Achilles offers. For a wounded warrior to compete in these events, renews a sense of accomplishment and being able to overcome the handicap that their injury produced. This is a wonderful organization.

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing the profound improvement in the self esteem of the wounded participating.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

helping them work their miracles.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

Very professional.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

I look forward to my Tuesdays, one of the two meeting days! Achilles is a great organization that attracts amazing people!

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If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

having a running buddy.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

very sincere and nice.

Ways to make it better...

I like my experience as it is, and wouldnt change anything about it - at least the Tuesdays sessions!

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

One thing I'd also say is that...

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-3-01

Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

my experience has been really awesome so far with all the staff and volunteers that i have met so far i first met dick traum when i was in new york for the bob woodruff foundation and also met megan lombardo there also they where so nice and i got really interested in joining the team then so when i called to say i wanted to they got me hooked up right away and my first race was the disney half marathon and the staff i met down there just amazed me with how much they care about the guys that have done it for awhile and the new guys that are just joining the team

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I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

i am one of the freedom team memebers and i did my first race and just being down there with all of the staff was just amazing they where very helfull and caring

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

One time

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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