Children roamed the aisles of Kohls, Target and Dick’s Sporting Goods, picking out their favorite animal plushies, bright fuchsia Barbie boxes, basketballs and footballs during the 16th annual Colonies Holiday Miracles, held Dec. 9 at Upland’s Colonies Crossroads shopping center.

Nearly 200 children and more than 100 families were treated to a holiday shopping spree, Christmas trees and coupons for delicious meals.

The holiday event benefited youth from 12 Inland Empire nonprofits, including Children’s Fund, Children’s Hope, Eagles Wings, Foothill Family Shelter, Hope through Housing, House of Ruth, LeRoy Haynes Family Programs, OPARC, Pacific Lifeline, Upland Unified School District Healthy Start, Upland housing Authority and the YMCA. Each child was selected based on family need and income.

An army of volunteers, including first responders, and business partners accompanied children and families as shopping chaperones, thanks to support from event founder The Colonies Partners as well as the John P. Previti Foundation and the Pacific Development Group. In addition to Kohl’s, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Albertsons, other Colonies Crossroads businesses donated funds, food, time and goods to support the event.

The day began with a hot pancake breakfast served by Upland Fire Department and a visit from Santa. Albertsons provided $100 gift cards for families and $50 in groceries. Tasty lunches were distributed by Chic-fil-A, Jersey Mike’s and El Pollo Loco. Fifty fragrant pine trees were gifted by Advanced Environmental for participants to take home and decorate. The Kiwanis wrapped gifts while carolers entertained attendees.

Click here to watch a video of the event.