Lending to Relatives? What You Need to Consider

Sonny has bad credit and needs a small business loan. Of course you want to help, but can you make the payments or afford losing collateral if he defaults? Your daughter is going through a divorce and she needs the security deposit for her new apartment. If you give it to her, can you count on her to pay it back? Auntie wants to go to Las Vegas and has asked her children, nieces and nephews to pitch in so …

Resale Store Volunteering: Great Fun, Great Causes

When Joan and John Vatterott retired to Naples, Fla., nearly 10 years ago, they volunteered with the Guadalupe Center, a nonprofit that supports 1,100 children in the nearby town of Immokalee, a low-income community with one of the largest populations of crop pickers in the country. The Vatterotts started English-speaking classes for the workers, who are mostly Hispanic, Haitian and Mayan Indian. John also helped start the Tutor Corps program, which pairs high school students with mentors and pays them to tutor …

Good Mentoring: The Next Best Thing to Good Parenting

While the fond memories of family and festivities are still fresh enough to make us smile, let’s commit to spending time with family, friends and loved ones beyond the holidays. And, in the year ahead, let’s not forget to specifically spend time with young people. I had some wonderful moments with my kids around Christmas. We took our biennial theater trip to New York City to see Motown the Musical. It was a great show and such a joy hanging out …

One Man’s Secret to Playing a Great Santa

Edward Lacy, 56, has a secret identity. Once a year, Lacy transforms into a superhero more powerful than Superman and Batman combined. Without a cape or Batmobile, he flies around the globe in 24 hours, squeezes down chimneys and visits every child in the world. Yes, Lacy is Santa Claus for the Alexandria Redevelopment and Housing Authority in Virginia. The rest of the year he’s the authority’s ombudsman. A week before Christmas, I play elf to Lacy’s jolly St. Nick …

What Bill Clinton Doesn’t Get About Being a Grandparent

Bill Clinton was on the Ellen show this week talking about his new granddaughter, or as I like to call her, the other Charlotte. The former prez made some great points about grandparenting, although he and Hillary clearly haven’t spent a whole lot of time with the little one. >> 6 Ways to Be a Sexy Grandma I’m sure he’s very busy, but he seems to be holding back a little. “I told Hillary … ‘Now, we have to remember this …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun 1. For $50,000, the Dallas Zoo will sell you naming rights for a baby giraffe. (Learn more at CBS DFW) 2. More than $2 billion in lottery prizes went unclaimed in 2013. (Learn more at Yahoo! Finance) 3. Some male hummingbirds use their sharp, curved beaks to stab rivals’ throats. (Learn more at University of Connecticut) >>  Best Small Towns in America 4. Carlos Santana became a guitarist because his first instrument, the violin, sounded like an “alley …