What started as a homemade Christmas decoration nearly 30 years ago has continued to be something much bigger…and brighter.
As the end of January 2023 quickly approaches, we wanted to report on the annual Sunset Hills neighborhood Lighted Christmas Balls and its “Shine the Light on Hunger” efforts. If you’re unfamiliar, you can read our previous update here and click below to hear Justin Smith’s TEDxGreensboro talk from 2013.
This year, the neighborhood effort raised $109,309.73 in cash, including $80,000 from the Running of the Balls (ROTB); “TEXT-TO-GIVE” signs brought in $4,044. Generous folks from Greensboro and beyond dropped off 16,957 pounds of food. The food and money will provide 773,644 meals for hungry persons.
Since 2007, the neighborhood effort has raised $788,494.79, including $606,001 from ROTB 2012-2022 and 176,508 pounds of food, which, in aggregate, provided 5,616,196 meals for hungry persons. Yes, you read that right, that’s five million, six hundred thousand healthy meals.
We are profoundly grateful to so many. You, who lit up the park, hung up balls in your yard, or taught someone to make a Lighted Chistmas Ball. You who donated your time, food, and money, rounded up hundreds of cardboard boxes to box up the food for transport to food banks, cleared out the food hut and trailer every night, and unloaded 8 1/2 tons of food onto food bank loading docks. You, who managed, volunteered, ran, or walked in the Running of the Balls, or recycled non-working lights. Chicken wire and lights are just the props, it’s you who are the real Lighted Christmas Balls. It’s you who shortened the line of hungry people.
Anne and Jonathan Smith