Q:I’m on a tight budget yet still manage to squeak out a more-than-idyllic life in Aspen—really! My dog gets to come with me everywhere, the mountain fun is never ending, and I’m surrounded by friends who are always up for an adventure and are not only good people but really good people. So many of them seem able to give abundant time and money to charitable causes. My means are more limited. I have a small but mighty list of causes I like to donate to, but I also feel obligated to support my friends. It can get awkward when being solicited for money or even just to buy a raffle ticket. I’d prefer to give the little I have to make an impact in a few places rather than a gesture in lots of them. What’s a non-trustafarian to do?
A:I get it! I am rich with giving friends, too, and often feel sheepish when I can’t support their altruistic efforts as robustly as I’d like. It can be uncomfortable when everyone’s buying a seat at a table (or the entire table) for a benefit and your wallet barely has enough to cover the breadbasket (gluten-free, of course). A volunteer stint or making annual micro-donations in honor of your friends—to their charitable endeavors or yours—can go a long way toward articulating support. While Aspen may drip in wealth, its supply of grateful hearts can be even more abundant.
Have an Aspen etiquette question for Meredith? Submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll consider it for a future issue.