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Operation Good Cheer Flying High Across Michigan

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Posted at 2:54 PM, Dec 04, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-04 14:54:44-05

Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc., brings Christmas joy to children in foster care across Michigan. Operation Good Cheer is a program of Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. 

This annual, volunteer based Christmas gift-giving program for children in foster care will once again be launching “Spirit of Good Cheer” flights and ground distribution on December 7, 2018 from Oakland County International Airport to deliver more than 20,313 gifts to 6,771 children across the state of Michigan. 

Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc., will once again have the amazing opportunity to team up with hundreds of kind hearted donors and volunteers, creating incredible memories for children currently residing in out-of-home placement.

Children throughout Michigan will know that people care about them and are thinking about them at Christmas. These children who participate in Operation Good Cheer are victims of abuse, neglect, and abandonment. 

Through their foster care agencies, the children submitted “Wish lists” to Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc., which were distributed to hundreds of individual and group donors who purchased and wrapped gifts specially chosen for each individual child, which will bring joy on Christmas. 

Gifts will be collected from designated “pick-up” locations on December 7, 2018 for their journey to the Oakland County International Airport via donated ground transportation.

The hangar, graciously provided by Pentastar Aviation, will have hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers on-hand at the Oakland County International Airport on December 7 and December 8 to assist with sorting and loading more than 20,313 gifts for distribution to infants, children, and youths across the state of Michigan.

On December 8, hundreds of dedicated volunteer pilots will fly their own aircraft, which will be filled to capacity with Christmas gifts to 29 airports throughout Michigan.

Also, supplemental ground transport will take place for local destinations. Pilots and drivers will be greeted by staff and volunteers from 83 participating local social service agencies who will transfer the gifts for final distribution to eager and waiting children served by the agencies.

“This program would not be possible without the thousands of dedicated and committed volunteer and local partners helping others in their time of need and showing that they care. 

This is what the spirit of Christmas is about. People caring for and helping,” noted Sherry Brackenwagen, Administrative Director of Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc.

“This „spirit‟ is what brings happiness and hope to thousands of Michigan's foster care children every holiday season.” “We are extremely grateful” she added, “to have such dedicated, longtime supporters by our side.

Supporters like Pentastar Aviation, the staff at Oakland County International Airport, and air traffic controllers from all airports 5 who do an exceptional job of organizing the flights, along with the outstanding work of Mike Pipia in coordinating all of the ground transportation.” 

As part of Operation Good Cheer, donors are enthusiastically purchasing, wrapping, and delivering Christmas gifts to assigned locations. Donors receive a personalized “Wish List” for each child to help guide their purchases.

Every child and youth participating in the program receives at least three gifts, including items such as: toys, books, clothes, bikes, and electronics.