We Are Celebrating 47 Years of Making Christmas Wishes Come True for Children in Foster Care!
December 7, 2018 and December 8, 2018, was our 47th year of making Christmas wishes come true for children in foster care in Michigan. This entirely volunteer Christmas gift-giving program, sponsored and coordinated by Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc., 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. More than 6,000 children and youth are provided with gifts each year to open on Christmas morning and 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 and transported by volunteer trucking companies and their drivers to a centrally located airport. Pilots and drivers with their aircraft and vehicles transport the gifts to local airports across Michigan. At each airport, 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.
Thanks to the 83 foster care agencies that participated, we were able to fulfill Christmas wishes for 6,774 foster children across Michigan.
The big event began on Friday, December 7, 2018 at Pentastar Aviation in Waterford, Michigan. Thanks to the 276 compassionate donor groups and individuals, we had the pleasure of unloading and sorting more than 20,323 gifts this year that were picked up and delivered by 34 volunteer trucking companies. Watching the teamwork amongst strangers 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 8, 2018, and the "Spirit of Good Cheer" was soaring across the Michigan skies delivering thousands of gifts to their appointed destinations. There were about 202 volunteer pilots that completed 209 flights. The “Spirit of Good Cheer” also cruised along the highways as our volunteer truck drivers drove throughout the remainder of the day to ensure that every present was delivered to our participating agencies who were eagerly awaiting their arrival. Overall, Operation Good Cheer 2018 was a great success. We are looking forward to 2019!