DEAR HARRIETTE: I have an annual subscription to my local theater company. This used to be a favorite activity for my husband and me, but everything is canceled now. The company recently sent me a letter asking if I would donate the money I spent for the subscription so that it can try to stay in business. It also asked if I would be willing to make a contribution, kind of a good-faith gesture to try to help the company stay afloat. I totally understand the situation. Most of the performers are young up-and-comers who probably have nothing now. When they weren’t on stage, I bet most of them worked in restaurants and bars that are now closed. I am happy to let them keep my subscription money, but I can’t afford to give more. Things are tight at home for me, too. How can I tell them without being rude? -- Limited Gift
DEAR LIMITED GIFT: Be direct with the theater company. Know that it will be appreciative that you are willing to donate your subscription money without the promise of entertainment in return. That, in and of itself, is generous and thoughtful. The fact that you are unable to give more is perfectly understandable.
All of us are in this together, trying to navigate how to live in the pandemic. There is no one solution. It’s tough, and we are doing our best. Give yourself credit for being thoughtful and as generous as you can. Write a note to the theater company expressing your gratitude for its creativity over time. Describe what you can offer financially, and express that this is the limit for now. Wish the company well as it weathers this storm. That’s sufficient.