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On King Day, Savoring A Life Of Service

DSC_0083Meredith Hoffman Years after coming to East Village soup kitchens for help, Jeremy Jarvis now works as a volunteer helping those who are homeless.

Jeremy Jarvis has lived at opposite ends of the social spectrum. About 20 years ago – his life in a spiral of homelessness and alcoholism – he found himself standing in line at East Village soup kitchens.

Now, his is a life transformed and he works as a volunteer serving those who are in as much need as he once was.

And earlier today, as others gathered at ceremonies across New York and the nation to honor the memory of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Jarvis paid tribute to the civil rights icon in his own quiet way: serving those in need.

“If I’m living with more than I need, when other people don’t have enough, I’m doing an injustice,” said Mr. Jarvis, glancing at a portrait of Dr. King in the soup kitchen of the Catholic Worker on First Street near Second Avenue.

As Mr. Jarvis gazed around the room, he recalled eating his “first bowl of soup in this room, at one of these tables” amid his troubled youth. Traveling “from handout to handout,” he found few places that consistently wanted to help him — or even cared about him.
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