We celebrate 50 Years of Making Christmas Wishes Come True for Children in Foster Care!
Enjoy our 50 years of Operation Good Cheer Booklet (click here)
This year we continue celebrating our 50th year of making Christmas wishes come true for foster care children in Michigan, the event dates will be Friday, December 3, 2021 for gift collections and Saturday December 4, 2021 for gift delivery. 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. A record 6,320 children and youth received gifts to open on Christmas morning in 2020 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, loaded and transported by volunteer trucking companies and their drivers to a centrally located airport. These Pilots and drivers use their aircrafts and vehicles to transport 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.
Take a look at this article by AOPA.
Thanks to the 76 foster care agencies that participated, we were able to fulfill Christmas wishes for 7,159 foster children across Michigan. Our biggest year ever.
The event began on Friday, December 6, 2019 at Pentastar Aviation in Waterford, Michigan. Thanks to the 290 compassionate donor groups and individuals, we had the pleasure of unloading and sorting more than 21,477 gifts 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 7, 2019, and the "Spirit of Good Cheer" was soaring across the Michigan skies delivering thousands of gifts to their appointed destinations. There were 250 volunteer pilots that completed at least that 250 flights. 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 2019 was a great success. We are looking forward to 2020 and celebrating 50 years with our dedicated volunteers, donors, pilots and supporters.