Champions of Change
PortSide NewYork is a nonprofit in Red Hook, Brooklyn, focused on waterfront issues. Since 2005, the organization has operated from the Mary A. Whalen, an oil tanker on the National Register of Historic Places. After protecting the ship during Hurricane Sandy, they came ashore to help the community of Red Hook. Led by founder Carolina Salguero, PortSide created an aid station that evolved to provide services in response to emerging needs. They provided computer equipment to enable people to apply to FEMA, organized the work of electrician Danny Schneider who donated his services for free, and set up free legal clinics and a small business recovery center. Based on what they learned, they are now planning programs for Red Hook and the New York City government.