Making Christmas Wishes Come True for Children in Foster Care for over 50 years!
Enjoy our 50 years of Operation Good Cheer Booklet (click here)
After celebrating our 50th year of making Christmas wishes come true in 2021 for foster care children in Michigan, we are excited to make 2022 our biggest year yet! This year, the Operation Good Cheer event dates will be Friday, December 2, 2022, for gift collections, and Saturday December 3, 2022, for gift delivery. This entirely volunteer Christmas gift-giving program, sponsored and coordinated by Child and Family Charities, began in 1971 by individuals who wanted to make a difference in the lives of children who reside in foster care. Recipients include infants, children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities. Since 1971, more than 100,000 participants have had their Christmas wishes come true as a result of Operation Good Cheer volunteer efforts. Thousands of generous volunteers gather annually to participate in Operation Good Cheer. Donor groups and individuals purchase and wrap Christmas gifts from a child's "Wish List". At donor sites, these gifts are picked up, loaded and transported by volunteer trucking companies and their drivers to a centrally located airport. Volunteer pilots and drivers use their aircrafts and vehicles to transport gifts to local airports across Michigan. At each airport, foster agency volunteers gather the gifts and deliver them to the children and youth in foster care. This impressive display of generosity provides thousands of youth, some of whom would not receive anything otherwise, with gifts and the joy of knowing there are people who care.
Take a look at this article by AOPA.
With much caution, we were able to work with 86 foster care agencies through the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, fulfilling Christmas wishes for 6648 foster children across Michigan.
The event began on Friday, December 3, 2021, at Pentastar Aviation in Waterford, Michigan. Thanks to the 225 compassionate donor groups and individuals, we had the pleasure of unloading and sorting more than 19,941 gifts that were picked up and delivered by more than 25 volunteer trucking companies. Watching the teamwork amongst strangers and longtime volunteers as they come together for the sole purpose of giving to these children is what Christmas spirit is all about.
We had beautiful weather on Saturday, December 4, 2021, and "Spirit of Good Cheer" was soaring across the Michigan skies delivering thousands of gifts to their appointed destinations. Approximately 175 volunteer pilots that completed at least 180 missions. The “Spirit of Good Cheer” also cruised along the highways, as our volunteer truck drivers drove throughout the day as well to ensure that every present was delivered to our participating agencies who were eagerly awaiting their arrival. Overall, Operation Good Cheer 2021 was a great success. We are looking forward to 2022 and continuing to grow the number of foster care youth we are able to provide Christmas presents to, which could not happen without our dedicated volunteers, donors, pilots and supporters.