GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Thousands of people from across the Triad and beyond visit Greensboro’s Sunset Hills neighborhood each year to look at the lighted Christmas balls.

"It was one of these ideas that turned out to be a 100 times better than we ever imagined," said Jonathan Smith, one of the Christmas ball creators. 

Not only are the decorations illuminating the sky, they're also shedding light on a serious issue -- hunger.

Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina’s Food Sourcing Manager, Gardner Sheffield, said one out of every six adults and one out of every four children in the Triad area are food insecure -- still feeling the effects of the recession.

"It's been very difficult economically, and the recovery has been very uneven, and a lot of people are still hurting,” said Sheffield.  

That's why folks like Smith want to help. To date, the lighted display has raised more than $250,000 and 90,000 pounds of food, mainly through the Running of the Balls 5K, an event unlike any other. 

"There is nothing happier than a parade, and this is kind of like a parade in a way. People get to come out for the fun run and look at lights," said Smith  

This year, he hopes the community can collect more than 20,000 pounds of food and $60,000.

"But more than that, we'd like to see people talking about hunger,” said Smith. “We just want to keep the conversation going."

This year’s Running of the Balls will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9.

Greensboro Police say roads around the course will be closed beginning at 4 p.m. and remained closed until the conclusion of the event which is anticipated to be around 9 p.m.

The following streets will be closed beginning at 4 p.m.:

  • W. Greenway between Market and Rolling
  • E. Greenway between Market and Rolling
  • Madison between Ridgeway and Chapman
  • Ridgeway between Friendly and Market
  • Rolling Rd between N. Elam and Overlook
  • Madison between Overlook and Chapman
  • Madison between Elam and Ridgeway
  • W. Greenway between Friendly and Rolling
  • E. Greenway between Friendly and Rolling
  • N. Chapman between Friendly and Market
  • Woodbine between Friendly and Rolling
  • Tremont between Friendly and Market
  • Overlook between Rolling and Market