More UIDN people
Friends & Allies
Coming soon: Community Advisory Board

Melanie Baise




Melanie Baise: Legal

Melanie is a retired attorney. She spent most of her career in higher education as legal counsel for The University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. She is the proud granddaughter of Eastern European immigrants who, like our immigrant neighbors in Ulster County, came to the United States seeking sanctuary from persecution and violence, and opportunity for their families.

 Debi Duke: Website and Social Media

Debi has decades of experience as a staff member, consultant, and volunteer with labor unions, not-for-profit groups, and government agencies. She is a mother and homemaker who has also been a waitress, bartender, factory worker, and mail sorter. Her immigrant roots are in Ireland and western Europe as far as she knows.

Leslie Gallagher: Household Support

Leslie is a retired teacher committed to social, racial, and food justice for all. (Leslie is in the brown coat in this photo taken at one of UIDN’s outdoor food distributions.)



Marjorie Leopold


Bob Gelbach: Newsletter and Volunteer/Donor Recruitment & Management

Bob lives in Saugerties. He is retired from careers as a political science professor and director of a disaster mental health agency. He coordinates the monthly newsletter, UIDN UPDATE.

Patricia Grossman: Rent & Utilities Assistance and Website & Social Media

Patty is a former K-12 reading curriculum specialist and has volunteered in multiple capacities at GMHC and Learning Leaders. She has published six novels and two children’s books. In 2016, she moved from Brooklyn to Woodstock.

Sara Henderson: Legal and Transportation & Accompaniment

Sara was an investment banker in a former life, living and working in Hong Kong and Indonesia. After the 2004 tsunami she founded an NGO to help rebuild Aceh, Indonesia. Sara retired from banking in 2007 but continued to work in Aceh until 2013. She is a founding member of  UIDN and as the Transportation and Accompaniment lead, she likes to think of  herself as an Uber dispatcher.

Marjorie Leopold: Housing Justice and Schools Outreach

Marjorie is a retired Ulster BOCES New Visions teacher, and worked with Ulster Literacy’s English for Parents program. She coordinates UIDN’s after school programming with Kingston City School District — converting it to online tutoring during the pandemic — and advocates for education equity and affordable housing.

Reverend Erick Mercado

Reverend Mercado is pastor of Vida Real in Kingston. He is shown here with his wife and co-pastor Yaneth Mercado.

Pastors Erick & Yaneth Mercado

Jo Salas: Schools Outreach, Reading Together, and Website & Social Media

Jo is a social justice activist, a grandmother, a writer, and a Playback Theatre practitioner. She’s grateful for the opportunity to support our immigrant community through UIDN. (Jo is on the computer screen in the photo.)

Student in UIDN's New Paltz program, Reading Together

Reverend Fernando Salazar

Reverend Salazar is pastor at the 2nda Iglesia La Mision in Kingston. (Pastor Fernando is shown here with his wife and co-pastor, Yolanda Salazar.)

Mother Filomena Servellon

Known to all as “Madre,” Reverend Servellon was born in Honduras and came to the U.S. in 1985. She is priest-in-charge of the Latino ministry at Holy Cross/Santa Cruz Church in Kingston and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Poughkeepsie. (Madre is pictured here speaking at a Tish B’av service in Kingston.)


Kim Touchette: Household Support

Kim spent her career as an educator and continues to teach part time. She joined UIDN in the summer of 2019 to be part of an organization that promotes inclusiveness and tolerance and social justice and says she is “grateful to be part of a group of dedicated volunteers who share my passion for these issues.”  Her immigrant grandparents hailed from Quebec, Canada.