Upland, Calif-More than 1,200 children and families have been served through the Holiday Miracles program over the past 8 years. Kids have been pre-selected based on need, and will be treated to chaperoned shopping sprees at Kohl’s Department Store, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Target in the Colonies Crossroads shopping center.
Major sponsors, The Colonies Partners and Pacific Development Group along with new participant this year, Frontier Homes, donate proceeds to fund the event. Families and children who participate have been referred by National Community Renaissance and its Hope through Housing Foundation, along with several local non-profit organizations such as the Upland Unified School District’s Healthy Start Program, Children’s Fund, Pacific Lifeline, House of Ruth, Foothill Family Shelter, OPARC, Children’s Hope and the Upland Housing Authority.
Each pre-selected participant will receive a Wells Fargo Bank gift card purchased by the event sponsors and participant’s families will go home with a full Turkey Dinner donated by Albertsons grocery store. Kohl’s, Dick’s and Target also offer deep discounts to make the money go further and all items are tax free purchases. This year each child will be provided with an additional sum to purchase gifts for family members that will be giftwrapped on site by the Upland Foothill Kiwanis. The Home Depot volunteers set up a kids craft corral, Upland Professional Firefighters Association Local 3477 prepare a great pancake breakfast and food and beverages are generously donated by Colonies Crossroads retailers such as Jersey Mikes, The Heights, Chick-Fil-A, ZPizza, El Pollo Loco, Panera Bread, and more.
The shopping sprees are chaperoned by volunteer police officers and fire fighters as well as elected officials and members of local service organizations from throughout the region. Upland Police Department has vehicles on site for kids to tour. In past years notable sports celebrities, such as Tommy Lasorda, James Worthy, Eric Dickerson, Marshall Faulk and Greg Bell, have donated their time and provided an inspirational message to the crowd. Players and cheerleaders from the Fury Indoor Soccer Team keep kids entertained throughout the morning.
“Every child here discovers just how much the community cares,” said Burum. “It makes their Christmas a little merrier, but it also teaches a valuable life lesson on what it means to give back.”
The Colonies Crossroads’ Holiday Miracles is celebrating its eighth year.
Tommy Lasorda at last year’s Holiday Miracles event, with (from left) Eric Dickerson, James Worthy and Greg Bell.