For the last decade, DTE Energy has partnered with Child & Family Services of Michigan to deliver Christmas gifts to infants, children, teenagers and adults with disabilities who reside in foster care. Through the annual Operation Good Cheer drive, DTE Energy employees sponsor children and adults by purchasing and wrapping three items from each Christmas wish list.
DTE Energy first became involved in Operation Good Cheer in 2007, filling a small conference room with presents for 75 children and adults. Today, employees used its Detroit headquarters lobby area to collect all the gifts and loaded over 2,000 gifts into a semi-truck to be delivered to 700 adults and children, making DTE Energy the largest corporate sponsor of Operation Good Cheer in the state of Michigan.
“This was my first year contributing to this program and I have to say it has been a blessing,” said Marianne Baker, strategy operations analyst. “This is what it is truly about, giving to those who need to see love in the hard times of life at the most perfect time of year.”
Many of the children DTE Energy sponsors are victims of abuse, abandonment, and neglect and have been removed from their homes. Some have never received Christmas gifts before. Operation Good Cheer does more than give gifts: it gives kids a sense of self-importance and belonging. It makes them know that there are people out there who truly care for them and want them to be happy.
“The powerful impact makes you realize how lucky you really are and helps teach kids to take the focus off their wants for a minute and think about others,” said Anita Springer, manager, Center of Excellence. “The Thank You cards we receive in February really tell us the whole story; and every year, there’s kids that write, ’If it wasn’t for Good Cheer, I wouldn’t have had a Christmas at all.’”
If you want to get involved in Operation Good Cheer as a volunteer or donor, visit cfsm.org.