Achillecs “Red Hawk” Brown, a full-blooded Mohawk Indian born on a Native American Reservation outside of Buffalo, has lived a life full of adventure and passion. From working as a union welder and a chef at places like Disney and five-star restaurants, to being a dedicated father of four, he has done it all.
Achillecs is now dedicating his time and effort to LifePath as a volunteer. For the past two years, he has been covering everything at the front desk, making coffee, and helping anyone he can with whatever they need. Even though he does not lead the programs, people come to him with ideas and suggestions, and he always does his best to make the majority happy. “If you can make the majority happy, then you know you’ve got a good unit. It works,” he says.
Achillecs’ dedication to his fellow residents goes beyond his volunteer tasks. He takes care of everyone he meets, especially the people who reside at Westview Homes, where LifePath manages the community room and congregate meal programs. He has been learning a few words in the language Uzbek to say good morning to a resident from Uzbekistan and always makes sure to give Mrs. O, who can’t speak well due to health reasons, a compliment just to brighten her day.
“Simple things I do, when people come up the side, I say good morning to them, thank you, little things like that might make their day. I’ve learned over the years so I try to do that. I’ve got no problem coming down and helping or setting it up. Anything I can do to help make people that live here’s life just a little bit better, because most of the people here really feel like they’re forgotten.”
Achillecs does everything he can to help make the residents’ lives a little bit better. He goes above and beyond as a volunteer, doing paperwork and handling menus for lunch. When someone has a concern, they come to him, and he tries to work it out. “Most of the people here really feel like they’re forgotten,” he says, but not on his watch.
Volunteering is personal for Achillecs. He started doing it to fight depression without medication. His kids and psychologist suggested that he get out more with people, so he started listening to them and volunteered for LifePath. “Now I enjoy it, and I have a good time doing it,” he says.
When asked what he likes most about volunteering at LifePath Achillecs replied, “Felicia – (LifePath Director of Community & Support Programs) – I tell her I’ve always got her back, whatever she needs, I try to take care of her, make it easier for her, that’s what I like the most.”
Achillecs’ is truly a man of service. His family has a long history of serving the country. His grandfather was a code talker. His father fought in WWII and the Korean War. Achillecs himself was a Marine recon sniper and fought in Vietnam. His youngest daughter has followed in his footsteps and is a Captain in the Marines. He also has a daughter in Sweden who works for IBM and a daughter in Germany who works for a hospital. His son lives in Albany and is a stay at home dad.
At 65 years old, Achillecs calls himself the baby of the Westview seniors, but his dedication to serving the residents makes him a giant. He is not just a volunteer; he is a friend, a companion, and a hero to those who feel forgotten. And to those who have tried his apple pie, he is also a master chef.
Thank you Achillecs “Red Hawk” Brown, for your unwavering dedication and selflessness. You are truly a shining example of what it means to be a volunteer.
Simple things I do…when people come up the side, I say good morning to them, thank you, little things like that might make their day. I’ve learned over the years so I try to do that. I’ve got no problem coming down and helping or setting it up. Anything I can do to help make people that live here’s life just a little bit better, because most of the people here really feel like they’re forgotten.