Climbing to Success, and Helping Others Along

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Patrick Alvarez, left, and Isaias Garcia serving up a turkey dinner last week in Harlem.

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund recently featured, by Sam Dolnick, this Children’s Aid story about Patrick Alvarez and Isaias Garcia and how they give back because of the help they have been given. Below is an excerpt from the original article.

Patrick Alvarez made sure the tables of children were eating their turkey while he directed a group of volunteers to the kitchen, nodded thanks to a mentor and shook hands with a well-wisher grateful for the meal.

The blizzard of activity might have overwhelmed most people, but Mr. Alvarez, 19, has spent his life overcoming long odds. He went from living in a homeless shelter with his mother to studying economics at Syracuse University, where he is a sophomore. Along the way, he said, he saw domestic abuse at home, mostly in the Bronx, cold nights on a shelter floor and fierce battles with Brooklyn rats.

But all of that seemed a lifetime ago on Tuesday night at the Frederick Douglass Center on the Upper West Side, as Mr. Alvarez watched some 200 people eat Thanksgiving dinners provided by a nonprofit group that he founded.

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To learn how you can make a difference for this family and many others, please link over to The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund or contact:

The New York Times Neediest Cases Fund
230 West 41st Street
Suite 1300
New York, NY 10036
(800) 381-0075

Photo courtesy of Michelle V. Agins for The New York Times