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OPERATION GOOD CHEER BLASTS OFF ACROSS MICHIGAN FOR FOSTER CARE CHILDREN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

Thursday, December 04, 2014   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Michelle Rahl
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2157 University Park Drive

Okemos, MI 48864

P: 517.349.6226

Contact: Sherry Brackenwagen

Email: Sherry@cfsm.org

Press Release

For Immediate Release

 

OPERATION GOOD CHEER BLASTS OFF ACROSS MICHIGAN FOR FOSTER CARE CHILDREN THIS HOLIDAY SEASON.

Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc, brings Christmas joy to children in foster care across Michigan

Okemos, Mich.- December 2, 2014- Operation Good Cheer (OGC) is a program of Child and Family Services of Michigan., Inc. This annual Christmas gift-giving program for children in foster care, will once again be launching “Spirit of Good Cheer” flights and ground distribution on December 6, 2014 from Oakland County International Airport to deliver gifts to 5,258 children throughout the state of Michigan.

Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. continues to team with hundreds of generous donors and volunteers to share the spirit of the season with children currently residing in out-of-home placement. These children who participate in Operation Good Cheer are victims of abuse, neglect and abandonment.

Hundreds of volunteers will be on-hand at the Oakland County International Airport on December 5th and December 6th to assist with sorting and loading more than 15,744 gifts for distribution to infants, children, and youths across the state. The hangar is graciously provided by Pentastar Aviation.

Gifts will be collected from designated “pick-up” locations on December 5th for their journey to the airport via donated ground transportation. On December 6th, volunteer pilots will fly aircraft packed with Christmas gifts to 24 airports throughout Michigan with supplemental ground transport taking place for local destinations. Pilots and drivers will be greeted by staff and volunteers from 70 participating local social service agencies who will transfer the gifts for final distribution to children served by the agencies.

“The spirit of Operation Good Cheer is really brought full circle by thousands of amazing volunteers and numerous local partners,” noted Sherry Brackenwagen, Administrative Director of Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. “this ‘spirit’ is what brings happiness and hope to thousands of children every holiday season.”

“We are especially grateful” she added, “to have our longtime supporters by our side. Supporters like Pentastar Aviation, the staff at Oakland County International Airport, and Jerry Drew, a retired air traffic controller, who does an exceptional job of organizing the flights, along with the outstanding work of Mike Pipia in coordinating all of the ground transportation.”

As part of OGC, donors are recruited to purchase, wrap, and deliver Christmas gifts to designated locations. Donors receive a personalized “Wish List” for each child to help guide their purchases. Every child and youth participating in the program receives at least three gifts, including items such as: toys, books, clothes, bikes, and electronics.

Various Related 2014 Operation Good Cheer Data and Statistics

Operation Good Cheer is a program of Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. State Office (CFSM) in Okemos. CFSM has sponsored and coordinated this volunteer-driven program since its inception in 1971.

This year, 291 separate donor groups and individuals are participating as gift sponsors. Donors include individuals, families, employer groups, public schools and universities, and community service organizations. Every child enrolled in the program completes a “Wish List” and includes six gift choices they would like for Christmas. Donors receive a “Wish List” and purchase and wrap three packages for every child they sponsor. Donors then deliver the gifts to designated drop-off locations.

20 trucking companies donate transportation services, including trucks and fuel. Numerous drivers donate their time to transport gifts to the airport from 29 “pick-up” locations, in addition to outbound transport from the airport to local destinations. A collaboration of pilots, also utilizing their aircraft and fuel, will make delivery flights throughout the day to 24 airport destinations, with many making several trips. Aircraft and flights are coordinated by Jerry Drew, retired Oakland County International Airport air traffic controller. Ground transportation is coordinated by Mike Pipia of Guardian Industries.

Local social service agencies taking part in Operation Good Cheer include: Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. and their member agencies: Child and Family Charities (Lansing); Child and Family Services of the Upper Peninsula (Marquette); Family Counseling & Children’s Services (Adrian); Child and Family Services of Northeast Michigan (Alpena) and Family Service & Children’s Aid (Jackson). Other agencies taking part include: Adoption Option (Midland), Alcona/Alpena/Montmorency Department of Human Services (Alpena); Alternatives for Children & Families (Burton); Arenac & Gladwin County Department of Human Services (Standish); Bay County Department of Human Services (Essexville): Berrien County Department of Human Services (Benton Harbor); Bethany Christian Services (Holland, Kalamazoo); Cass County Department of Human Services (Cassopolis), Clare County Department of Human Services (Harrison), Catholic Charities of Lenawee County (Adrian); Catholic Social Services (Marquette); Christ Child House (Detroit); Clinton/Gratiot County Department of Human Services (St. Johns); Eagle Village (Hersey); Eaton County Department of Human Services (Charlotte); Ennis Center for Children, Inc. (Detroit, Flint, Pontiac, Port Huron);Federation of Youth Services (Detroit); Forever Families (Novi); Gladwin County Department of Human Services (Gladwin); Gratiot County Department of Human Services (Ithaca); Guiding Harbor (Belleville); Hands Across Water (Ann Arbor); Hillsdale County Department of Human Services (Hillsdale); Holy Cross Children’s Services (Alpena, Clinton, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Redford, Saginaw, Traverse City); Homes for Black Children (Detroit); Huron County Department of Human Services (Bad Axe); I.M.P.A.C.T. (Port Huron); Isabella County Department of Human Services (Mt. Pleasant); Jackson County Department of Human Services (Jackson); Lake and Newaygo County Department of Human Services (Baldwin): Lenawee County Department of Human Services (Adrian); Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Southfield); Marquette, Alger, and Schoolcraft County Department of Human Services (Marquette); Methodist Children’s Home Society (Redford); Monroe County Department of Human Services (Monroe); Muskegon County Department of Human Services (Muskegon Heights); New Light Child and Family Institute (Millington); Shiawassee County Department of Human Services (Owosso); Spaulding for Children (Southfield); Spectrum Child & Family Services (Southfield); Teaching Family Homes of Upper Michigan (Marquette); The Children’s Center of Wayne County (Detroit); Tuscola and Huron County Department of Human Services (Caro); Upper Peninsula Family Solutions (Marquette); Van Buren County Department of Human Services (Hartford); Vista Maria (Dearborn Heights); Wayne Center (Detroit); Wexford/Missaukee Department of Human Services (Cadillac); Wolverine Human Services, North Region (Vassar); and Wolverine Human Services, South Region (Detroit and Taylor).

Airports and respective receiving areas include: Sawyer International-Boreal Aviation; Traverse City- Harbor Air; Alpena County Regional- Terminal; Tulip City-Terminal; Gerald R. Ford International- Landmark Aviation; Muskegon County-Executive Air Transport; Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International- Duncan Aviation; Roben-Hood- Terminal; MBS International; Lenawee County-Wings of Lenawee; Jackson County-Reynolds Field- Terminal; St. Clair County International- Terminal; Southwest Michigan Regional Airport-Terminal; Willow Run- Active Aero; Flint Bishop- AV Flight; Capital Region Airport Authority-AV Flight; Gladwin Memorial Airport-Terminal; Owosso Community Airport; Tuscola Area Airport- Terminal; Hillsdale Municipal Airport-Terminal; Mt. Pleasant Municipal Airport; Midland-Barstow Airport; Traverse City Airport; Caro Airport; and Huron Airport.

Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc. is a private, statewide, nonsectarian, nonprofit organization which provides administrative services to nine member agencies and implements its own services and programs, including: Post-Adoption Services, Confidential Intermediary Services, Children’s Entitlement Fund and Operation Good Cheer. Individuals interested in more information about Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc., its programs, or how to make a financial contribution, can visit www.cfsm.org or contact Sherry Brackenwagen at (517) 349-6226.


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