Welcome to the 31st edition of the Mercury News Wish Book.
During the next several weeks, we'll introduce you to 24 of our friends and neighbors -- individuals and families who are struggling this season, each with a wish you can make come true.
Since 1983, readers like you have donated a total of nearly $8 million to provide everything from warm jackets to job training, wheelchairs to hot meals. Every penny helps people in our community.
Tax-deductible contributions of any size are welcome. Donations may be made by check or credit card, by mail or online at www.mercurynews.info/wishbook. Readers interested in donating appreciated stock should contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Through the years, Mercury News readers have given the gift of hope to thousands of people. We trust this year's stories will inspire you to give generously again.
Thank you, and happy holidays.
-- Dave Butler
Editor and Vice President for News