Operation Good Cheer
A program formerly of Child and Family Services of Michigan, Inc.
Over 50 Years of Making Christmas Wishes Come True for Children and Youth in Foster Care throughout Michigan!
Weather was not on our side this year. December 3, 2022 marked our 52nd running of OGC, albeit with a very limited number of flights – 18 – flown by larger aircraft to the U.P. and five other destinations that would be too difficult to coordinate through trucking alone. Marginal VFR conditions and 50 MPH peak surface winds prevailed at PTK. Many destination airports were worse, with IFR conditions and ice covered runways. Conditions at PTK were simply too extreme to expose ground volunteers to:
With weather making a mess of our carefully planned aviation extravaganza, pilots and other volunteers made certain that we had sufficient availability of vans, trailers and trucks to take up the slack. Our trucking coordinators were kept very busy but exhibited extraordinary calm and skill under pressure.
Watching the teamwork amongst strangers as they come together for the sole purpose of giving to these children is what Christmas spirit is all about.
Overall, Operation Good Cheer 2022 was a great success. Thanks to the 93 foster care agencies, Operation Good Cheer was able to fulfill Christmas wishes for 6,625 foster children & youth across Michigan. Thanks to the 253 compassionate donor groups and individuals, we had the pleasure of unloading and sorting more than 19,875 gifts that were picked up by 25 trucking companies and brought the hangar at Pentastar Aviation.
We look forward to being back at Oakland County International Airport and ready to deliver gifts both by air and by ground in 2023.
To our Pilots: Please know that your willingness to support OGC through aviation is not unnoticed or unappreciated. Thank You! We will regroup, reorganize and replay our preparations next December. We all hope that you will again volunteer to fly and that weather will cooperate. Please mark your calendars now for the fifty-third running of OGC on Saturday, December 2, 2023!
Take a look at this article by AOPA: https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/all-news/2019/december/09/its-all-for-the-kids
Thank you to our Operation Good Cheer fuel discount sponsor.
Thank you to Maven for their participation in Operation Good Cheer.
Spirit of Good Cheer
...or fill out a form!
Pilots are needed to transport Christmas presents from Oakland County International Airport to airports across Michigan during our 2023 Spirit of Good Cheer flight on:
Saturday, December 2nd, 2023
(flights begin at 7:30 am).
If you would like to be a pilot for Operation Good Cheer, please complete our Pilot Volunteer Application. For additional information, please contact Operation Good Cheer at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 517-349-6226.
Pilot Elves 2004 © CFSM
Loading Santa's Plane © 2011 CFSM
Pilots share their volunteer experience in AOPA Pilot's Dec. 2008 issue. "Well before the first light of dawn had begun to give any hint of warmth to the world, the first arrivals were being sequenced down final, landing lights ablaze in the frigid air. Every minute or two, a piston twin or fast single would exit the runway at Michigan's Pontiac-Oakland County International..."
Thank you for your interest in Operation Good Cheer!
"Spirit of Good Cheer Elves Take to the Sky" © 2010 CFSM
In our endeavor to brighten the holidays for thousands of infants, children, teenagers, and adults with disabilities, we are looking for volunteers to assist us during our 2023 Spirit of Good Cheer flight weekend. Volunteers will be needed both days.
Friday, December 1, 2023, and Saturday, December 2, 2023.
"Spirit of Good Cheer Elves Take to the Sky" © 2010 CFSM
Friday - December 1, 2023
Volunteers are needed 10:00 am to 8:00 pm to help unload from ground transport vehicles close to 20,000 wrapped and bagged Christmas presents. Once gifts are unloaded, they need to be inspected and sorted by agency code. (Due to confidentiality, all recipients are assigned a code letter and number). All volunteers should report to Pentastar Aviation west of the Oakland County International Airport Control Tower. From there, you will be directed to your assigned work area. You will be asked to sign in upon arrival.
Saturday - December 2, 2023
Volunteers are needed 7:00 am to 4:00 pm (possibly later depending on weather) to help load close to 20,000 wrapped and bagged Christmas presents onto small aircraft and trucks. All volunteers should report to Pentastar Aviation west of the Oakland County International Airport Control Tower. From there, you will be directed to your assigned work area. You will be asked to sign in upon arrival.
Thank you to Pentastar Aviation for their participation in Operation Good Cheer!
Despite the many challenges due to COVID-19, Operation Good Cheer continued to "make Christmas wishes come true".
Thanks to the 83 foster care agencies, Operation Good Cheer was able to fulfill Christmas wishes for 6,320 foster children across Michigan. The event began on Friday, December 4, 2020. Thanks to the 289 compassionate donor groups and individuals, we had the pleasure of unloading and sorting more than 18,960 gifts that were picked up by 31 volunteer trucking companies and brought to a donated warehouse in Livonia. Watching the teamwork amongst strangers as they come together for the sole purpose of giving to these children is what Christmas spirit is all about.
Many generous companies donated trucks, fuel, and drivers to gather the Christmas gifts and bring them to the warehouse. Most of these same trucking companies and quite a few more also helped us distribute the gifts across Michigan to the children waiting. The “Spirit of Good Cheer” cruised along the highways as our volunteer truck drivers drove throughout the day to ensure that every gift was delivered to our participating agencies who were eagerly awaiting their arrival.
Overall, Operation Good Cheer 2020 was a great success. We look forward to being back in the air at Oakland County International Airport and ready to deliver gifts both by air and by ground in 2021.
OGC Leadership & Staff
Karen Storlie, Program Manager
Karen Storlie, Development Associate. Karen is new to the Development Department and brings over 25 years of management experience. She has organized city wide events, managed capital improvement projects, apartment communities, and in the nonprofit setting. She is a strong supporter of helping others and has participated in Operation Good Cheer previously and is excited to be helping in the continued growth of Operation Good Cheer.
4287 Five Oaks Drive
Lansing, MI 48911