I believe it is good practice to do "pro bono" work once in a while. I have been given more than one break in my career.
I make a point to donate a certain amount of prints for non profit organizations fund raisers, and give a percentage to charities from some print sales every year, even though things are tough. I see it a a defying action against bad situations and it helps people. Is it scary? Oh yes, especially lately, but it is good practice to let go of that fear.