Don't get me wrong. I'm all in favor of showering friends and family with gifts, whether from local stores or your favorite e-merchants. But as we get ready for the holidays, we should also take time to think about ways we can make a difference.
The web is making it easier to borrow money from a community of strangers using a concept called "peer-to-peer lending." Entrepreneurs are embracing it to find virtual "friends & family" to give them loans.
America's economic downturn presents a daunting double-edged challenge to charitable organizations. Hard times mean that more people than ever will be in need of help -- and that fewer people will be in a position to help.