She had one dollar in her worn, tattered pocket.
It was raining - a cold, December morning, the sort that gave them all a bad name. It was yet cold enough to freeze the droplets into crystalline flakes that would dance in the air and flutter lightly to the ground. Instead, fat, angry drops plummeted to the ground, exploding as they hit unyielding concrete.
She’d found the dollar in puddle, up against a cracked, dirty curb. The fingers on her gloves were already torn and her fingertips numb, so they didn’t sting when she reached into the icy water for it. Proud of her catch, she’d held it close to her chest and sighed, a small smile working its way across her haggard face. The lines in her face were those of a much older woman - her 15 years were multiplied over and over again on her weary countenance. But this dollar shed a few years as her eyes brightened and her chapped pink lips turned up at the corners for the first time in weeks.
One dollar wouldn’t get her a place to sleep tonight, or shoes without holes in them, or a dry coat. It wouldn’t solve any of her problems - but it would buy her a hot sandwich to get through one more day.
Or, it could buy that same warm sandwich for her young brother, huddled a block over, too cold to move, but so very, very hungry.