MDHHS staff from throughout Michigan collecting holiday gifts for children in foster care through Operation Good Cheer
LANSING — Children in foster care around Michigan will be granted holiday wishes as Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) employees partner with the annual Operation Good Cheer program, which will transport gifts via air and ground transportation Saturday, Dec. 7.
The gift-giving program began in 1971 and is coordinated by Child and Family Services of Michigan (CFSM).
All distribution flights and local ground transport will originate from a hangar provided by Pentastar Aviation at Oakland County International Airport, where 21,477 gifts to 7,159 children across Michigan will be prepared for delivery via local airports statewide. Hundreds of volunteers will be on hand 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 airports and various ground destinations. They will transfer the gifts for final distribution to children served by the agencies.
“We believe that children are safe and able to thrive in the context of families. The holidays are a particularly difficult time for the more than 13,000 Michigan children in foster care who are separated from their families and friends,” said JooYeun Chang, executive director of the Children’s Services Agency at MDHHS. “Child welfare staff are thrilled to participate in Operation Good Cheer. We are grateful that Child and Family Services of Michigan, donors and volunteers are bringing joy to children in foster care during the holidays.”
The 79 social services agencies participating in Operation Good Cheer include MDHHS offices for the following counties: Alcona, Alger, Alpena, Arenac, Bay, Benzie, Berrien, Branch, Cass, Gladwin, Grand Traverse, Gratiot, Hillsdale, Huron, Ionia, Iosco, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lake, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Lenawee, Livingston, Manistee, Marquette, Mason, Mecosta, Missaukee, Montcalm, Montmorency, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ogemaw, Osceola, Roscommon, Saginaw, Schoolcraft, Shiawassee, Tuscola, Van Buren and Wexford.
For more information about Operation Good Cheer or how to get involved or donate, contact CFSM, Inc. at 517-349-6226 or www.cfsm.org.