Operation Good Cheer brings gifts for U.P. kids

KI SAWYER – The Operation Good Cheer plane was packed with hundreds of gifts bound for children all over the Upper Peninsula when it landed at Sawyer International Airport Saturday.

Operation Good Cheer is an annual, all volunteer, Christmas gift-giving program of Child and Family Services of Michigan Inc. Children in foster care homes, group homes, or residential treatment facilities sent in a wish list of six items in August and presents for the children were bought from those lists, said Jill Krah, director of business at Teaching Family homes. About 200 children in the U.P. receive gifts from this program.

“Just because they’re in placement doesn’t mean they don’t deserve a nice Christmas,” Krah said. “It’s just so great that there’s an organization willing to make that happen.”

The children asked for presents ranging from Barbies to a Nintendo 3DS to hats and mittens. There were five U.P. organizations that showed up at the airport, bearing the cold weather to collect the gifts for their children.

Included were Teaching Family Homes, U.P. Child and Family Services, U.P. Family Solutions, Department of Human Services and Catholic Social Services.

“I like this organization because it has a great Christmas feeling that helps bring the cheer,” Krah said. “The generosity of strangers is always amazing and every kid has a different wish and is not always in a position to have that wish granted.”

According to Krah, most of the children will receive their gifts on Christmas so they’ll have something to open that day.

Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 243.