Operation Good Cheer

Operation Good Cheer December, 2015

Each year Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan (TFH) continues its participation in the annual Operation Good Cheer gift-giving program. Airplanes loaded with Christmas gifts make their way from Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, MI and into the hearts of TFH children in foster care, residential treatment, and group homes. Participants include infants, children, and teenagers. Operation Good Cheer began in 1971 when a group of Ford Motor Company employees decided to pool the money they were spending on Christmas cards and give it to a worthy cause. That first year of the program there were sixty-six children involved. Operation Good Cheer has since grown to include forty-two of Michigan’s private child and family social service agencies. The State Office of Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc., in Okemos, coordinates and sponsors this entirely volunteer program. Annually, thousands of volunteers from several businesses, corporations, public schools, government agencies, and individuals gather to purchase and wrap gifts from a Wish List. Each Wish List contains the participant’s first name, last initial, age, physical and personality profile, and six gifts they would like for Christmas. Donors purchase gifts directly for each child. The children and staff at TFH meet the airplanes and pilots at Sawyer International Airport and unload the cargo of packages. This is one of our most exciting events and the generosity shown by donors truly provides a feeling of Good Cheer.