Operation Good Cheer takes to the skies to deliver about 20,000 Christmas gifts to more than 6,700 children and adults with special needs around Michigan next weekend. Donated gifts will arrive for sorting inside a Pentastar Aviation hangar at Oakland County International Airport (OCIA) between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Friday, December 7. Volunteers will then load the gifts into about 260 airplanes for delivery to 29 airports around the state beginning at 7 a.m. Saturday, December 8.
“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson said. “His spirit is captured by the hundreds of donors and volunteers of Operation Good Cheer who help thousands of Michigan children and adults with special needs experience the magic of Christmas.”
Each year, thousands of children and adults with disabilities make out their Christmas wish lists for Operation Good Cheer. Generous donors purchase the gifts. Trucking companies then pick up and deliver these gifts at no charge to OCIA where volunteers wrap them. Pilots who have donated their time and aircraft then fly the gifts to airports around Michigan so they can get to their intended recipients. To date, more than 99,000 individuals have had their Christmas wishes come true.
“It’s an honor for Oakland County International Airport and our friends at Pentastar Aviation to be the base of operations to deliver Christmas presents to thousands of children and adults with disabilities throughout Michigan every year,” said J. David VanderVeen, director of central services for Oakland County, who oversees OCIA. “It’s an impressive sight to see a hangar full of presents being wrapped by Operation Good Cheer volunteers to be loaded onto waiting aircraft.”
Here is Operation Good Cheer, sponsored and coordinated by Child and Family Services, Inc., by the numbers in 2017:
- 18,250 Gifts delivered
- 6,453 Recipients
- 500 Volunteers on the ground at OCIA
- 264 Gift donors
- 265 Volunteer pilots
- 75 Affiliated social service agencies
- 27 Volunteer transport companies
- 26 Airports and ground destinations statewide
To learn more about Operation Good Cheer which is in its 47th year, go to cfsm.org/
and click on Operation Good Cheer. Pentastar Aviation is located at 7310 Highland Road in Waterford.
➡️ Click Here To Be Introduced To Oakland County Michigan
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