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Firewood Donations Keeping Nuns Warm

ELYSBURG, Pa. — When a family from Northumberland County heard that nuns at convent nearby were going to run out of firewood, they took it upon themselves...

ELYSBURG, Pa. -- When a family from Northumberland County heard that nuns at convent nearby were going to run out of firewood, they took it upon themselves to donate to help keep them warm during the winter months.

Choir practice was just finishing up at Carmel of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, and the sisters allowed Newswatch 16 inside the chapel to listen.

Mother Agnes cannot appear on camera but was able to talk to us through a speak room.

“It's been really beautiful to see that people have been so generous with trying to keep the sisters warm, and they've succeeded, they've definitely succeeded," said Mother Agnes of the Holy Eucharist.

The 16 sisters of the monastery near Elysburg are certainly keeping warm this winter, thanks to firewood donations from businesses and people all over the area.

“We figured a pickup or two of wood, but it ended up with tractor-trailer loads, and it's just ongoing from there," Joe Honecker said.

When Dave Mensch heard the sisters were going to run out of firewood last winter, he started to bring some by. Then when he put an ad out in the newspaper this year, he got call after call after call and recruited some help.

“I figured we'd get a couple, but not like 70. But I tell people it's going to take us all summer to get to the wood, we got that many responses," Mensch said.

About a mile down the road from the monastery is Knoebels Amusement Resort and employees there are stepping up to help out.

“We're a neighbor. They're sweethearts, they are everything that's good in life. Why wouldn't we help them?” Brian Knoebel said.

The sisters tell us that even though they didn't ask for any of this, they are so thankful and hope a lesson can be learned.

“As soon as one person sees someone being generous, they want to be generous, too. It sparks something. We benefit greatly from their generosity, but just the world benefits from that. Having that presence of generosity in the world, by the grace of God, it just spreads," Mother Agnes said.

The convent covers about 90 acres of land. Volunteers tell us they likely have enough firewood to last through the summer.