31 December, 2011

Food Drive & Census

Please let your friends know or post to your facebook that we will have the food collection through next weekend(3 locations - Rolling and East Greenway, Madison and Ridgeway, and Rolling and Ridgeway. We estimate the present collection to top 6000 lbs and $1035. We had people drop off $200 in checks and cash in 2 nights last weekend as we were sitting around with friends at the 'firepit' in the front yard. 

The census response has been overwhelming so I haven't had a chance to do the tally - If you have not done so, please send me your address and the total number of lighted balls or other shapes you have hanging in your yard. 

I don't think the neighborhood has ever looked more lovely. So many of our streets are magnificent with the polka dotted evening skies. Magical and amazing. 

THANKS to all of you who continue to make it so spectacular. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Jonathan and Anne Smith 
Bookmark and Share

15 December, 2011

This makes it all worth it!!!

This note received from Amanda via her iPad
Loved driving through the streets and seeing the lighted balls!!! We were bringing mom home from Forsyth Medical Center and took a detour through to see the lights... They are amazing! It really made our day/night...thanks, guys!!

Lunch hour at Toad Hall

This is what we did today (joyfully) on our lunch hour.  We emptied all the little bags of cans of beans, soup, tuna, fruit and other wonderful things into boxes - put them into the suburban and get ready to go to Greensboro Urban Ministry.  When you come by this weekend (or anytime) be SURE to drop off your non perishables for the food banks.  They have assured us that they can use all you can contribute.  THANKS Greensboro and beyond for all you do.  

Bookmark and Share

Posted by Picasa

13 December, 2011

Drop Off location in Lake Jeanette

Our friends Gary and Diane Upham have set up another collection point for the Shine the Light on Hunger Food Drive.  Thanks for setting this up.  Here is a map to their home.
Now there are 4 spots in greater Greensboro for drop off.  We will share out totals so far on this blog soon.  Please pass this along to your friends - please drop off a can or a bag of cans each and every time you drive by.  Bookmark and Share

Happy bride to be from Durham decorating for Christmas

This photo from precious Ally who will marry our nephew Matthew in May. Two photos from Durham in 2 days

A post from Durham NC

We received this email Sunday- Thanks for sharing this with us & thanks for embracing the idea and making it your very own. I love this!

Thank you for the awesome Lighted Christmas Balls that you are sharing with the world. Like many others, your gift has inspired me to organize a food drive to benefit NC and GA Food Banks (; I’ve recruited my nieces and nephews who are helping out with this awesome even! They are collecting food in their communities and will help me shop, sort, and box up the items, and then take them to the food banks. We are simply overwhelmed by the outpouring of loving kindness in our communities! Here is a link to the event on Facebook: I’ve attached photos of my first three Lighted Christmas Balls.
In return for their help with the food drive, I’m going to help my nieces and nephews make their own Lighted Christmas Ball for the holidays! We are all very excited!

Thank you again for your service and inspiration!

Rhonda Karg PhD

12 December, 2011


Three drop off points for food donations in Sunset Hillls

There are 3 places to drop off your canned goods for the local food banks.  
We have already delivered about 600 pounds of food and 
we plan to deliver more than that today. 

Click on any of the addresses below for a map.  
2205 Madison Ave  (corner of Ridgeway Drive and Madison Ave)
206 East Greenway Drive North (corner of East Greenway North & Rolling Road)
222 Ridgeway Drive (corner of Ridgeway Drive & Rolling Road) 

The food banks can use all we can collect - so when your friends are coming to your home for cocktails, dinner, or a party, just let them know we are more than just a bunch of 'pretty lights'  & consider putting a box out in your foyer, collect some food, and drop it off in any of the trailers or bins and we will take care of the rest.  We will do everything in our power to make sure the food gets to the hungry as quickly as possible. THANK you for making this work.  

Merry Christmas !   

Bookmark and Share

Posted by Picasa

10 December, 2011

Fallen ball

1st fallen lighted Christmas ball of the season.  #LightedChristmasBalls to the rescue.

06 December, 2011

Star & Angel

A gorgeous 3-D star (seven feet tall with a Lighted Christmas ball innard) and seven foot tall angel frame in five lighted Christmas balls at a home near the intersection of Saint Andrews and Carlisle

Doing the most good

George Arnold, Grayson Smith and Snoopy the bell-ringing mutt in front of Macy's in Friendly Shopping Center. Seriously, folks saw these bell-ringers, did about faces, returned to their cars, refilled their wallets and purses, and came back to stuff the red kettle.

Bookmark and Share

Posted by Picasa

Share an idea, then get out of the way

Shuttered businesses. High unemployment rates. People struggling to feed their families. That could be Anytown, USA, but to one person who doesn't like that diagnosis, it's Eden, NC. 

Dr. Rod Mortenson knew exactly what Eden needed — Christmas balls. He rallied his colleagues, they rallied Eden Rotary Club, and then Tim Kimrey, Gardner Sheffield, Mebane Ham and Jonathan Smith.

Click here to read Myla Barnhardt's story in the News-Record and see what's happened, at least so far. 

Bookmark and Share


This little girl sure looks pleased with her accomplishment. 

2nd Food Collection Depot now on Rolling Road

Jamey, Phil and Jonathan Smith fidget with the string to hang the last Lighted Christmas Ball from the tallest branch in the highest tree at the home overlooking Greenway Park.  

Rolling Road has been transformed into a work of art. The neighbors are campaigning a 2nd food collection trailer in the 2100 block of Rolling between Chapman and East Greenway Drive, North. 

Come see this adventure unfolding, bring your friends and bring non-perishable food items for NC Food Banks. 

Bookmark and Share

Posted by Picasa

05 December, 2011

keeping food dry

With rain in the forecast tonight and tomorrow, thought we better clear out the trailer put it in the garage to keep it dry. Tonight's catch included peanut butter, tuna, high protein beans, one canned ham, soups, green beans, collard greens and yams. Also pasta, rice, mac and cheese and big containers of oatmeal.  Thank you, friends of lighted Christmas balls, for coming out on a dreary night and for helping nourish hungry folks. Come back often and bring your friends and show them how easy it is to share with those in need. 

04 December, 2011

Boys help out

Daniel, Jonathan, Phil and Jamey help neighbors light up their yards.  Fun times with friends.  

Bookmark and Share

Posted by Picasa

Dango likes the Christmas Balls

My friend Lindsay shared this on her facebook page.  It looks so much like the photo at the top of our blog, I wanted to share. Silly kitty - Dango....Bookmark and Share

All the way from Atlanta

This from Alex Wright in Atlanta - "This is our third year of hanging Christmas balls down in Atlanta.
Our first year we did 5, we expanded to 10 the next year and this year
we went up to 16." Here is the photo Alex sent.  THANKS for sending it along!!! 

Alex they look amazing.  I hope you get more neighborhood participation.  For several years we were the only 1 and after about 3 years some others finally joined in.  It may take a workshop or two to get it off the ground so to speak.  Come see us when you are here.
Bookmark and Share

This amazing photo in from Wake Forest

We love to receive photos from folks who enjoy the lighted Christmas balls.  This from Christa Greene in Wake Forest.  It is a photo of her husband's creation.  A 30' Christmas Tree made from the lighted Christmas balls.  Jonathan has always wanted to do something kind of like this so we may want to take a little road trip over to wake forest just to take this in.  See an excerpt from Christa's email below.  

" I wanted to share my husband’s creation with you:  a lighted ball Christmas tree!  I wish you could see how big this really is because the photo does not do it justice.  It is about 30 feet high at the top and contains 40 lighted balls.  Everyone asks about the balls and I direct them to your site.  Your Christmas tradition has now become our Christmas tradition.

We look forward to our Christmas Eve drive through Sunset Hills!  Merry Christmas to you all!

Christa & Ricky'

Bookmark and Share

Orbs in my Oaks

Check out Orbs in my Oaks, by contributing editor David C. Bailey, in O. Henry Magazine's December/January edition. Click open publication, turn to page 53 and enjoy.

Bookmark and Share

Moon shot

Come see Liam & Graham's enormous lighted Christmas ball @ W. Market Street & Ridgeway Drive and donate canned food to NC food banks.

30 November, 2011

The mailbag

Of the many treasures illumined by the Lighted Christmas Balls are the many cards, letters and first-hand accounts of kindness we get to pass on. This "light season", known as Advent by some, starts on the fourth Sunday before December 25th and ends on January 6th, known as "Epiphany" to others. Our "Advent" kicked off on November 20, a bit earlier than usual. It was the 15th anniversary of the Lighted Christmas Balls and the 9th Sunset Hills Lighted Christmas Balls party and workshop.  All this to say, this 47 days of Lighted Christmas Balls overcomes a whole lot of darkness from the other 318 days of the year.

From today's mailbag:

"I just got off the phone with my wife. We turned down an “offer” to help a friend host a Christmas cookie party. I don’t have anything against cookies (obviously), but we’re trying desperately to remember what Christmas is about for our family. For us, that means buying the kids just 3 presents, it means we go down to the Ice Skating Rink as a family, it means buying a stack of Bill Mangum Honor Cards to send to friends and family and stocking up on Wendy’s gift cards to hand out to the homeless and hungry, it means I spend one night this month as a chaperon at the winter emergency shelter, and (gasp) it means even telling my 4 year old what happened in Bethlehem more frequently than I mention what happens at the North Pole.  I’m not saying we have it right, but I would encourage all of you to think through what is important for you and your family this next month…and then do it." 
I'm not saying the rest of us have it right either, but my friend hit on something we don't hear a lot about. The note had a post script. I can't resist sharing:
"And for all things Lighted Christmas Ball, go to:"
Lighted Christmas Balls are lighting up all around the Triad. The food collection depots are filling up with non-perishable food. Already, 600 pounds of food has been given to those in need.

"The life-light blazed out of the darkness, and the darkness couldn't put it out." John 1:5 The Message

Whatever you believe, don't leave any life-light turned off this season.
Bookmark and Share

29 November, 2011

UP in Northeast Greensboro - Beautiful !

Stephanie and Lewis Apple came by to see us on Sunday just to pick up a few more hints about how to wire all the balls together to get them going.  They examined everything, launched the orbs, and sent photos from Parnell Drive this morning at 6:30 AM.  Now that is dedication.  They are beautiful - thanks for sharing.  Bookmark and Share

Cashiers Year 2 - LIghted Christmas Balls Up and secure!

Bookmark and ShareOur friends Jerry and Melissa discovered the challenges of putting up the Lighted Christmas Balls in high winds last year.  The winds actually pulled the electrical cords free from their plugs.  This year, Melissa defined a new way to put them up.  They are up and shining bright.  Beautiful, aren't they?

Rolling Road is all lit up

I am happy to report that I cannot imagine another spot for a lighted Christmas ball in the block of Rolling Road in Sunset Hills between E. Greenway N and N. Chapman.  I mean they are EVERYWHERE.  Good job Rolling Road neighbors with a special thanks to Jamey and Phil.  I know you guys do a lot to make that happen.  Bookmark and Share

27 November, 2011

kindness compounds

I took Monday off, following our big Lighted Christmas Balls workshop last Sunday.  Fellow light ambassadors Gardner Sheffield, Daniel Hassell, Jamey Presson and Phil Bullington did the same; throughout the day, each could be seen in his yard, hanging up strings from which to suspend the balls.

Daniel walked over to see how I was doing.  He pulled out a large manila envelope, clasped and sealed. It had no markings.  Said a man in an old pickup truck stopped and asked, "who's in charge of all this?" nodding toward the few lighted Christmas balls up in the trees. "We all help each other," Daniel said, "but he folks across the street started it all." He handed over envelope to Daniel, said "please give this to them," and left as quickly as he came.  And so Daniel handed me the envelope. We turned it over, shook it, and patted it down, felt what could have been a kitchen sponge inside. Deeming it safe, "what's the worst that could happen?" we opened it.

A hand written, unsigned letter:

"I heard of a teenage girl who celebrated her birthday by trading in her presents and converting them to canned goods for your food drive. How special. Please accept this gift as an addition to her efforts. So refreshing to see a selfless act, let alone by a teenager. She obviously is being raised by parents with a solid sense of values. Her parents must be very proud - and lucky!

Thank you and the neighborhood for all you are doing this and every year. We all have things to be grateful for."

And an envelope packed with dollar bills. Not your just-fresh-from-the-teller-machine cash. No, these were older, saved up bills, straightened, all face up and sorted into $20s, $10s, $5s and $1s.

One young person's generosity, canned goods instead of birthday presents, multiplied by an anonymous $300 gift, which under the stewardship of Second Harvest Food Bank of North West North Carolina, compounded further; each Second Harvest dollar buys $12 dollars worth of food. That's the miracle of compounding. One selfless act compounded, transformed into $3,600 worth of groceries. I guess that's why compounding is called the Eighth Wonder of the World."  Bookmark and Share

Happy Birthday Hannah

Bookmark and Share Wendy Cousins - emailed us  before the neighborhood workshop for making the Lighted Christmas Balls.  Her daughter Hannah was planning her 13th party.  Instead of gifts - Hannah asked her friends to bring canned goods for the "Shine the Light on Hunger" food drive and lights to make a lighted Christmas ball.  We of course welcomed the group and we were all touched by her generosity and happy to see the fun she and her friends had at the party.  

26 November, 2011

the season's first gift

25 lighted Christmas balls up and on, food collection trailer on station and lit up and the first provision for the hungry is just in. Let the season begin. Friends of lighted Christmas balls are grateful we get to do this for our community. Come see us soon.

25 November, 2011

LCB in News-Record

Today's paper mentions look for LCB in Saturday's Life section.

Lighted Christmas Balls at High Rock Lake

These five Lighted Balls add to the beauty on an already superb Thanksgiving day at High Rock Lake.

22 November, 2011

Lighted Christmas Balls - Southern Workshop

The public is invited to a Lighted Christmas Balls workshop in Salisbury, NC on December 4, 2011 at 10:00 a.m. The event will take place at the Fellowship Hall at John Calvin Presbyterian Church (Overman and Brenner Ave. across from VA Hospital) and participants are asked to bring a can of food for Rowan Helping Ministries. 
More info here.

Bookmark and Share

20 November, 2011

Get those Lighted Christmas Balls into the trees!

Bookmark and Share
Three teens in the neighborhood will shoot your Lighted Christmas Balls into the trees. See the phone numbers on the wagon. If you cannot read the print, the numbers are 336-691-1414 or 336-370-9692.