LANSING, MI – Foster children around Michigan will be granted holiday wishes through the annual Operation Good Cheer program.
Numerous Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offices are participating in the 46th annual Christmas-gift-giving program coordinated by Child and Family Services of Michigan.
Each child in the program creates a wish list with six gift ideas. Donors buy and wrap gifts from the wish lists.
Volunteers today are collecting gifts from 28 pickup locations via donated ground transportation coordinated by Mike Pipia of Guardian Industries. They will continue their journey to Oakland County International Airport for distribution flights and local ground transport on Saturday.
All distribution flights and local ground transport originates from Oakland County International Airport, where volunteers will gather more than 17,200 gifts for sorting and loading at the host hangar provided by Pentastar Aviation. Hundreds of volunteers will be at the airport throughout the two-day period to assist with the distribution effort.
Through the Spirit of Good Cheer flight, participating local social service agencies will greet flights at 25 airports and various ground destinations, where they will transfer the gifts for final distribution to children served by the agencies.
Through the efforts of Jerry Drew, retired Oakland County International Airport air traffic controller, and ground transportation by Guardian Industries, gifts will be distributed to agencies so the 5,733 children and youth sponsored by Operation Good Cheer this year will receive their gifts before Christmas.
MDHHS county offices participating include: Alcona, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Berrien, Cass, Clare, Clinton, Eaton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Huron, Isabella, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lake, Lenawee, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Osceola, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Van Buren, and Wexford counties.