Share the Wealth: Pass on Unused Tickets
It is that time of year when we all are getting our tickets for concerts, theater, opera and all the various "goodies" that abound in the Southern Pines/Pinehurst area.
I know that our calendar is already chock-a-block for much of the fall and winter, and that is before we invite folks in for dinner or drinks! I look at the dates we have for all our various activities and wonder how I will manage to go to everything and clean my house!
We take a vacation on lovely Block Island and refresh ourselves with the sight of vast water and dear friends. We love the time away and the change of scenery, but we miss events while we are gone.
So, when I got my tickets I knew there would be events I would not be home for. An idea came to my mind, and I am passing it along to you as I am sure we are not the only folks who travel or must miss a concert or two.
I donate my tickets to the Coalition for Human Care; you may have another charity to donate to. We all know how many volunteers give hundreds of hours to various functions throughout our towns. We also may know folks who are going through a rough patch and could use a free night out to something wonderful. You may know a student at a school who is interested or even gifted in an area but who may not be blessed with the funds to go to something you hold tickets for.
I think sometimes that we forget the little bounties that we hold in our hands that can be a joy to someone else when we are not able to use them. Even on short notice the Coalition can find either a volunteer or client who would love to go to something you are unable to attend.
I spent my career performing on and off Broadway but when I was not actually on stage I could not always afford to go to shows. The problem for me was not much different than what many are facing now for different reasons. I did not know when my next job would come or if I could, with certainty, pay the rent. I missed a lot of fabulous shows and concerts because of that reality.
How I wish someone who could not use a ticket to the Metropolitan Opera or a show would have cried out on the street looking for a worthy actor to take their place. It is a shame there is no matching service for people with tickets and performers who cannot afford to go to see things they really should see. It is my daydream: that there would be an eHarmony or Match.com for artists and ticket holders! But one does not need to know an artist to do this ... and you don't have to yell out on the street either; any charity would be delighted to help you with this slightly odd but wonderful form of giving.
I can only imagine what a respite it would be to someone who is sitting by a bedside with a loved one in hospice or one who is going through the pain of dealing with a family member with Alzheimer's or a young couple who may have no means to go out on a "date" because finances are just too tight. So many of us are blessed with enough money to join the English-Speaking Union, the Arts Council, go to The Forum or have season tickets to many concerts and events. We have enough to dine out and enjoy life; we have earned it. But not all of us here are that lucky.
So, if you find you have tickets that you cannot use, don't just leave them on the table in the hall nor have a heavy heart that you are missing something you paid for. You can have the great joy of giving and uplifting someone with the joy of music, a basketball game or an opera. Who knows what gems you have tickets for?
The joy you will feel knowing that someone is having a night they might never have had will be as great as or greater than the event itself. Call your charity of choice and see what program they may have to help you give your tickets to someone who can use them. In this town of great bounty of heart and giving, this is yet another way to say you care even if you don't know who is getting your gift. Hey, Santa is watching, so why not get some extra points well ahead of his arrival?
Here are some contact numbers: Caroline Eddy at The Coalition (910) 693-1600; FirstHealth Hospice (910) 715-1000; and Given Library (910) 295-6022.
Joyce Reehling lives in Pinehurst. She recently retired here from New York after a 33-year career in theater, TV and commercials in New York.
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