At the Colonies Holiday Cheer and Message of Giving, with an Assist from Stores and Sports Legends
UPLAND – Nearly 200 disadvantaged and at-risk children received $200 shopping sprees at the fifth annual Holiday Miracles event at the Colonies Crossroads shopping center on Dec. 15.
The event, hosted by Colonies Partners and supported by Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Albertsons and other merchants at the center, benefits children from families struggling to make ends meet. In addition to the shopping sprees for participating children, each family received a turkey dinner and messages of giving from sports legends James Worthy, Eric Dickerson and Marshall Faulk, and U.S. Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif.
“I believe in this event,” said Faulk, an NFL Hall-of-Fame running back with the Rams. “The best gift you can give anyone is to teach them how to give.”
Among this year’s recipients was Raylene Enriquez, 8, who is undergoing treatment for brain cancer.
“It’s been really tough because of everything we’ve been going through so this means a lot,” her father, Johnny Enriquez, said after a smiling Raylene emerged from Dick’s with a pair of new pink roller skates.
The 189 children and families were selected based on need from National Community Renaissance properties and a number of non-profit organizations, including Upland USD’s Healthy Start Program, Children’s Fund, Pacific Lifeline, House of Ruth, Foothill Family Shelter, OPARC, Children’s Hope, and the Upland Housing Authority.
Colonies partner Jeff Burum said the Holiday Miracles program is “an opportunity for business leaders to come together to bring the community together. This is not just about shopping and giving gifts. It’s the community service aspect of giving back.”
Miller, whose Congressional district includes Upland, spoke of a little girl who emerged from her shopping spree with $200 worth of clothes and toys – all for other members of her family.
“This is an amazing event,” he said. “We need to be thankful that we’re so blessed. It takes really good people like Jeff and the Colonies and the businesses here to reach out and do something this good for the community.”
First, Give Back
Worthy, an NBA Hall-of-Famer with the Lakers, said the Holiday Miracles event offered lessons to last a lifetime.
“Whatever your success is, your No. 1 responsibility is to give back,” he said. “Holiday is every day. Doing something kind is every day. Helping your neighbor is every day.”