Operation Good Cheer was started in 1971 by Child & Family Services of Michigan, Inc. to make a difference in the lives of children who reside in foster care. The program is entirely volunteer based with donor groups and individuals generously giving their time and money to purchasing, wrapping and transporting gifts across the state. Through the years the program has provided more than 87,000 children and youth gifts for Christmas.
This year 5,394 children in the Michigan foster care system were able to receive 16,182 Christmas gifts. Supporters of the cause included Pentastar Aviation, Ford Motor Company, Meijer, Oakland County International Airport, and Penske Truck Rental. Western Michigan University College of Aviation students and professors were also on hand to help load and transport the gifts across the state to waiting agencies.
The Oakland County International Airport is used as one of the 23 centrally located airports across the state for collection. Every year as gifts are wrapped and purchased, they are collected and transported to the airport by volunteer trucking companies. Pentastar Aviation generously donates a hangar where the gifts can be dropped off by volunteer pilots and drivers. After the gifts have been sorted, agency volunteers help to distribute the gifts to infants, children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities.
Are you a pilot interested in transporting gifts or volunteering? Learn more about how to apply here.