The time of year that brings Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas often brings out the most generous instincts in Americans, with many of us seeking ways to aid the less fortunate.

What are some of the local charities that you will contribute to this season, groups that you would also recommend to friends and neighbors because they use donations wisely and cost-effectively?

Let us know by Tuesday, in 200 words or less, by e-mailing to


. Include a home address and day and evening phone numbers. Writers' phone numbers, street addresses and e-mail addresses will not be published. Only e-mails can be considered.