30 November, 2013

The LCBs are moving west..

Bookmark and Share Lighted Christmas Balls in Pueblo, Colorado. These LCBs were  made by Marlene's high school physics teacher. He says they look so much better than the photo. He is quite thrilled to have joined the group of those displaying Lighted Christmas Balls.

25 November, 2013

1st Year Avery 7 Years old

Hi Avery, I found your name tag lying face up when I went out to hitch the food trailer to my suburban. With rain and freezing temperatures in the forecast, we thought it was time to take the first collection load to the food pantry.

So early this morning, I pulled into Urban Ministry and backed the trailer up to the loading dock. J.T and Marcus were smiling real big. I wish you could have been with me. We all pitched in and unloaded the trailer, in no time. Good nutritious foods like rice, cereal, beans, spaghetti, canned ham, every kind of soup, canned fruit, baked beans, and even baby food and baby formula. J.T. weighed it all on his scale smiled from ear to ear. "508 pounds," he said, "this is real good, just real good." You can see his picture below.

I just wanted you to know that you were part of something really, really big yesterday. More than making a lot of pretty lights, you became part of a community. Your family (and mine) has never, ever not had food for breakfast, lunch and supper. And we've never not had a safe, warm and happy home with a mom and a dad. And plenty of clean clothes and a beds. Not to mention toys and birthday cakes and fun family vacations.

Not everybody is so lucky: Did you know one out of every four children your age in North Carolina is food insecure? Food insecure is a fancy word for when you don't know where you next meal is coming from and neither does your brother and sister and mom and dad.

So yesterday when we were making Lighted Christmas Balls, meeting new friends and drinking warm apple cider and eating yummy snacks, what was really happening was bigger than making lots of pretty lighted balls. You and your mom and your sister and brother were becoming part of a community. And that's something good and kind and heroic, something precious to God. I would love it if you would take a picture of your lighted Christmas balls and send them to me. And I hope your dad gets all well and you can bring him to the workshop next year.

The community that you and me and 250 of friends get to be part of, we collected canned goods and all that food (and monetary donations) went to help feed a lot of hungry neighbors, some of them the same ages as you and your brother and sister. 

Being a 1st year Avery, 7 years old, is something really, really special. Keep it up, Avery, there's no telling how far you will go and how much good you will do. 

We'll post updates and stories and lots of pretty pictures, so stay tuned! Happy Thanksgiving!

Update from yesterday's party

Yesterday we "released" 240 lighted Christmas balls into Greensboro and the surrounding areas.  
The generous neighbors and friends donated 
$939 for Greensboro Urban Ministry, 
$360 for Second Harvest and 
508 pounds of food (and 6 bags of ice) to Greensboro Urban Ministry.  
Thanks to the many helpful hands from neighbors in Sunset Hills 
and some friends who just love the Lighted Christmas Balls enough to come across town to help.  
If you were there and took some photos.  
I would love to post them!  

23 November, 2013

First Fruits

First Canned Good showed up 5 minutes after the Food Trailer was on station. 
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Announcing the 2013 Lighted Christmas Ball Party and Workshop
If you have been wanting to make these crazy things - or to learn how to do it to take to your neighborhood, we have some spots open at the workshop.  

Sunday afternoon November 24th from 2-5 
Cost: canned food for the  The Shine the Light on Hunger Food Drive 
+ 1.25 for chicken wire for each ball you want to make.  
You also bring 200 mini lights any color for each ball.  
Optional: Bring a snack & adult or child's beverage to share....
+ a can of veggies for Stone Soup we will all enjoy
We will have LCB Demos - how to make, how to wire, how to launch. 

Questions - make a reservation email with your name and how many you want to make - 1-2 per person is average.  You can make more depending on how may people come & how much wire we have.  


Wonderful Note from California

I just love love love getting these letters(see below) from 'new friends' who have stumbled onto us via the internet.  It just makes my heart happy to see community time and know that they will bring much joy there.  I wish I could go see every Lighted Christmas Ball in the world.  At least I sure would like to have a push pin of all the places we know they exist.  
Thanks Denice, I can wait to see the Main Street photos.  
Anne & Jonathan 

My name is Denice Cull, I am a realtor in Sebastopol California. I came across your video of the lighted balls when searching prices on the store bought version. Our city needed help badly and I sent an e-mail to our mayor and within a week a small committee of people from our downtown association and chamber of commerce met to hear my idea. Three months and 108 balls later, we have just started hanging them on our Main St. and plan on making a bunch more in the next week. THANK YOU! I consider myself a highly experienced light ball assembly-person now, as well as having to figure out all the technical glitches of extension cords and connectors!
The pics below are my favorite color combinations which I have in my own trees at home, we chose multi-colored strands for the ones downtown and I haven't taken pics of those yet.
We also started late in the year and would like to eventually incorporate the hunger charity cause in the future.
Denice Cull
Realtor-Sales Associate
CPS Real Estate
5925 Fredricks Rd.
Sebastopol, CA  95472

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Kim and Gary have taken the pumpkins down and decked out for Christmas in PA. LOVELY.

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These are updated photos from Kim and Gary in Pennsylvania - wow those are gorgeous.  All sized lighted Christmas balls and snowflakes.  Beautiful - Thanks for sharing.  Merry Christmas

18 November, 2013

Lovely letter from West Virginia

A couple of weeks ago we received a lovely letter from Rebecca who lives in West Virginia.  Her husband is from Greensboro and introduced her to the beauty and the good of the lighted Christmas balls.  Her words let me know that she really 'got it' - that the lights are more than just a pretty magical thing. Her words were so sweet, sharing how she introduced them to friends, neighbors, family and church. She is inspired by the wide collection of colors and shapes and the possibilities to light up the cold cold dark dark nights of late fall and winter in the hills of WVA.  Here are a few of her fall balls.  She promises to send more along at Christmastime.

Please send me your photos and stories.  It is one of the best parts of this crazy tradition.

Thanks Rebecca.  Come to see us this year when you head south for the holidays.
Anne and Jonathan 

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