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Furniture fundraiser helping church in Olyphant

It hasn't always been easy to pay the bills at one church in Lackawanna County, and now parishioners and community members are coming together to help.

Couches, dining room tables, paintings, jewelry—all of this has been donated to St. Cyril and Methodius Ukrainian Catholic Church in Olyphant. Now, these items could help the church stay afloat. Hundreds of people came out for the church's third annual furniture sale.

"With the church there's fewer people, fewer parishioners, and fewer people going to church because of the pandemic, so we continued for the third year and we're just really happy that we could pay some bills in the church," said volunteer Lauren Telep.

Lindsey O'Brien was more than happy to help. She heard about the sale on Facebook and drove to Olyphant from her home in Forest City.

"With everything going on, I try and support all small business and any kind of charity event that I can. Churches need help right now just as much as an

"Most churches we find nowadays, their congregations are dwindling because they're getting older, they're passing on, and the younger generation isn't really hanging around the area as much," said Bob Kletsko, a parishioner and volunteer.

Church members tell us collections are down about one-third because of the pandemic so this year's furniture sale is more important than ever.

"It'll probably help pay the electricity bills, especially with the air conditioning on in the summer, and just upkeep of the buildings. Our church is over 100 years old," Telep said.

"If I was going to support anybody, it'd be small communities and small churches," O'Brien added.

Newswatch 16 was here earlier this week as volunteers got set up. The room full of furniture and home decor was already much emptier, just a few hours after the sale began.

Whatever doesn't sell will be marked down even more and offered at the 10th annual rummage sale. The date for that is still up in the air.