Yesterday I was doing my holiday baking and one of my ingredients had gone bad. I rushed up to the Vons grocery store while the oven was still preheating, hoping to just run in and run out. On my way out, an attractive woman in her late 30s ringing the bell for the Salvation Army kettle was trying to hide her eyes from me. She was crying, hard. I asked if she was OK and she just said, "I hate when people make you cry."
I figured someone had made some snide comment to her, given how bad things remain for many here. I also knew from seeing her several times now that she isn't bringing in much money, so maybe she was tired of so much rejection. I asked what happened and she said that a woman had just gone by and asked when her last day was. She said tomorrow (Christmas Eve) and burst out crying because she was going to miss the volunteer job and seeing now-familiar faces. The kettle-bell-ringing had been the only thing to pull her out of a deep depression after a string of heavy losses (job, house, husband...in that order) this year.
I told her, "God bless you for being here" and hurried to my car, where I burst into tears myself.