Greensboro’s holiday light display helps feed more than 1.25 million

Greensboro, N.C., Dec. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Christmas spirit has reached new heights in Greensboro, North Carolina, where a unique holiday light display surpassed its goal to collect enough money and food to serve more than one million meals to those in need.The Greensboro neighborhood of Sunset Hills features some 3,000 tree light balls – spheres of chicken wire wrapped in holiday lights that make a breath-taking holiday display.Eight years ago, resident Jonathan Smith and his family – who first displayed the light balls and taught their neighbors how to create them – put out a small trailer in their yard with a sign that asked visitors to donate canned goods. The response was overwhelming. In the first year they collected enough food for more than 6,000 meals. The donations grew exponentially from there.This year, the neighborhood aimed to reach the milestone of collecting one million meals since the project began.Today, they announced that they topped that goal – collecting enough nonperishable goods and money to serve 1.25 million meals, according to Smith. Donations equal to 355,000 meals have been collected so far in 2015, and neighbors plan to keep collecting through the end of the year.
“It gives me so much joy to see Greensboro residents come together to enjoy these spectacular lights and give back in the true spirit of the holiday season,” said Cecelia Thompson, executive director of Action Greensboro.The food and donations go to local nonprofits Second Harvest Food Bank and Greensboro Urban Ministries.For a great view of Greensboro’s light balls, check out the magical drone-mounted video of the annual Running of the Balls 5K fundraiser: The race collected more than $40,000 toward the one million meal goal this year.Read more about the Smith family at or Contact:
Amanda Lehmert