"Have you ever looked into the face of someone you're being generous to?" Emel Sweeney, 73, a retired bookkeeper, asks with the trace of a Jamaican lilt. She says that giving lights up her life.
That brought to mind her encounter with a young woman who was struggling to manage four small, tired children on a bus.
They staggered and straggled at a transfer stop, along with Sweeney, who urged the mother to take a nearby cab the rest of the way. When the mother said she had no money, Sweeney gave her $20, she said. The mother, as she piled her brood into the cab, waved and mouthed a thank-you.
"Those words just rested in my chest," Sweeney said, "and as I rode home I was so happy."