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March 23, 2010

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March 23, 2010

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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The Great!

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.

Ways to make it better...

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

More feedback...

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

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3 hours of volunteer time for this nonprofit will...

Guide a runner with a disability at workouts on Tuesday evenings (6:15 pm) and Saturday mornings (10am) in Central Park (90th Street and 5th Avenue)