DEAR HARRIETTE: I belong to a social club. Since sheltering at home began and restaurants and stuff have been closed, they, too, have shut down. Management invited members to contribute to a fund for the staff. I thought that was nice; they’ve had no income, and most of them want to be artists, so they had nowhere to turn during this time. I chose to give what I could to them rather than to a random charity. When I told my sister about it, she said that if I can’t get a tax write-off, I am wasting my money. I think that’s the wrong attitude. I know these people, and they have been very kind to me over the years. Giving a few dollars to help them out seems like a small but helpful gesture. What do you think? -- Generosity
DEAR GENEROSITY: Good for you that you have chosen to be supportive of people you know who are struggling at this time. It is true that many people who work in restaurants, bars and social clubs double as artists. For many, having the stability of a job that has flexible hours and that comes with tips can make the difference in being able to pay basic bills like rent, food, telephone and utilities. I think you were smart to follow your heart and give what could to help these people.
Your sister isn’t wrong either. It’s great if you can get a tax write-off for your generosity. But what’s even better is for you to give from your heart to those in need.