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Volunteer

As a nonprofit, we depend on public support, including volunteers, willing to share their skills and experience on- and off-deck. We offer fun and training experiences in exchange, and a great vibe. To get involved, simply email chiclet@portsidenewyork.org. In your message please describe what kind of work you want to do (or don’t want to do), any relevant experience, and your availability to volunteer aboard the MARY A. WHALEN. Your help means so much to us.

Working here at PortSide with Peter and Carolina on the MARY A. WHALEN boat was a wonderful experience I’ll never forget.
— Summer Intern

What We’re Currently Looking For

Spreading the Word: PortSide has been hard at work on a new business plan to expand into building space next to the ship. We can always use people good at community outreach to help spread our message and grow community involvement. If this sounds like you or someone you know, we’d love to hear from you.

Fundraising: Support our fundraising work associated with our programs, our ship restoration and completing our FEMA-funded Sandy Alternate Project. We have identified many potential sources of funding for programs and operations, including writing grants and thanking donors with emails and phone calls. We have identified many grants and could use support writing grants.

Administrative & Creative Services: We could always use more people in the office, especially if you’re willing to work a regular commitment. Opportunities exist in light bookkeeping (Quick Book entries), web updating, photo archiving, historical research, book conservation, video and sound editing (see our Red Hook WaterStories e-museum), and more. And if you’re skilled at communicating with the public and motivating others, you might be interested in becoming our Volunteer Coordinator. We seek experts in Salesforce to help migrate our data into this program and get us familiar with using it.

Event Support: Working aboard the MARY is a great way to spend time outdoors, and event volunteers can choose how they want to enjoy it. Act as a greeter or ship docent (we’ll train you) for public programs and fundraiser events, or help us expand TankerTime hours to the weekend, which only works if we have enough people to keep the deck open. Expect to have a good time, too.

Educational Program Development: If you work in education, we could use your input to grow and deliver relevant and impactful education programs.

Organizing: Great at tidying and actually enjoy it? Our tool crib, electrical locker, paint locker and storage area for catering supplies could use an organizational wizard. We’d love to have your magic touch. The forces of entropy mean that there is always something, some space, to organize around here.

Shipwork: It takes a lot to maintain an octagenarian oil tanker. We have a need for welders to apply some doublers around the house, and could use trade skills like plumbing, refinishing of woodwork, and painting. There’s also HVAC work in getting the wood-paneled fridge humming again.