Operation Good Cheer (OGC) is the program DHHS utilizes to gather Christmas presents for foster children. Distribution Day for OGC is this Saturday, December 5th. For DHHS’s nominal fee, foster kids in care receive some tremendous presents – iPods, bikes, tablets, name-brand clothes, etc. – from donors across the state. What makes it really fun and interactive is that volunteer pilots fly the Christmas presents across the state on Distribution Day to airports, where the participating agencies unload the planes and take them back to their local offices and from there foster care specialists and licensing will distribute to the children and homes.
This year, there will be three agencies retrieving packages from the Roben Hood Airport in Big Rapids – Eagle Village, Mecosta-Osceola County DHHS, and Lake-Newaygo DHHS. DHHS is looking for student volunteers to bring themselves and/or their families to the airport for any length of time for transferring gifts from the planes and to assist in manning the food room. The distribution will occur from around 10:00am until 4-5:00pm.
We have 32 kids signed up from our agency for gifts this year, which means about 100 presents at the airport, as each child receives three wrapped packages. Eagle Village has roughly 140 and Lake DHHS has around 125, so in total we will be unloading and reloading 885 packages.
If you have interest in helping, or have questions, feel free to email Bill Melcher at 231-492-6040 with what you are able and willing to do.