Michigan volunteer effort provides gifts for foster children

WATERFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Thousands of Michigan foster children have gifts to open this holiday season through the efforts of 2,000 volunteers.

The Lansing State Journal reports Operation Good Cheer collects roughly 20,000 gifts for 7,000 foster children. The effort started nearly 50 years ago with 50 kids and one pilot, and now involves 250 airplanes and 34 semi-trucks.

One man collects the gifts and ensures they get where they need to go. That’s Mike Pipia, global logistics manager for Guardian Industries.

Pipia says it’s a personalized process, as people adopt and buy gifts for a child who has provided a wish-list. He adds the children know that someone “cared for them.”

The gifts are sorted and loaded at Oakland County International Airport in Waterford Township.

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