Which heroes came forward when we shined our “MAF signal” into the sky, calling out to citizens who make Portland a better place to live with each selfless action they take? Read on to find out!

Peter Northrup

Every day, people pass other human beings on the street who seem to have problems too big to be solved. What makes Peter Northrup special? He stops and tries to help.
In his nominations for Everyday Hero, compassion is mentioned again and again. Whether donating to charity, giving young professionals a chance to shine, or going above and beyond to help those who’ve slipped through the cracks, Northrup doesn’t seem to know the meaning of the word “indifference.”

“I look up to people who do things for the majority of people who have no voice,” he says. “It bothers me that people are forgotten.”

Perhaps the best illustration of this is one of the examples of his generosity offered as part of his nomination: “Pete saw a homeless man with a disfigured face on the street outside his Portland business. He called his contacts on the OHSU Board and arranged for the man to have free plastic surgery so that his eyes would be functional and he could see. Pete, his wife and his employees visited the man in the hospital and brought magazines, candy and the like. The surgery was a success!”

When not springing to the aid of the disadvantaged, Peter runs Northrup Corporation, which specializes in corporate insurance and risk management. When asked about any similarities between what he does for a living and what he does to improve the lives of those around him, he’s typically humble. “I’ve seen people have tough outcomes with issues that aren’t their faults,” he says. “I think, ‘there but for the grace of God go I.’ Plus, helping people makes me feel terrific.”

Story by Jake Ten Pas