3 must-haves to start a charity

Recently I connected with Amelia Dickerson and Michael Oliva to startup the newest chapter for Achilles International. Both Amelia and Michael are driven and motivated to expand and grow Achilles wherever there is demand or need for adaptive sport programs. I was lucky to be invited to help build a program, be part of the journey and learn a lot along the way.

Here are 3 essential must-haves I’ve learned over the past 8 weeks by working with smart, passionate people, turning an idea into a sustainable community for athletes of all abilities.


“Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.” ~Peter Drucker

CommitmentCommitment of a few can spread to many. It’s about showing up when conditions are less than ideal and at times we’re not 100%. Whether it’s playing an active role or being there to support others, commitment matters. The more people commit themselves to a cause or purpose the more that initial passion turns into a movement.

Embrace challenge

“Don’t give up! It’s not over. The universe is balanced. Every set-back bears with it the seeds of a come-back.” ~ Steve Maraboli

challengeTurning an idea or concept into something tangible is not easy. There’s challenge in experimentation, building awareness, overcoming barriers and finding the right ingredients to make it all work. Some things stick, some things are lessons along the way. A challenge today could be a lesson that leads to success tomorrow. Find joy in the challenge.

Lean-on others

Scott Jurek - Achilles

Scott Jurek guiding at the BoulderBOULDER10k

Had a blast guiding a blind runner, Luanne, in the BolderBOULDER 10k this morning! She did awesome, finished in 48:08, 5th place in her age division (52yrs)! Thanks to Achilles International for the opportunity.” ~Scott Jerek

A movement is started by early followers, not the leader. Find other people and groups to champion your effort, it’s critical. In a few short weeks we’ve had an overflow of support from the running community, city council, other adaptive sport programs and local businesses. People genuinely want others to succeed and help when given the opportunity. Lean on those people.