Parishioners of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish are doing the work of a saint, St. Nicholas to be exact. For nearly 40 years, the Corfu parish has provided Christmas dinners for families in the area.
"This is a rural community. Whether we go to the same church or not, we're all family," explained Marie Dylag, who works with a three-member committee for Operation St. Nicholas. They collect food for families in need, the sick and the elderly, so that every family can have a Christmas dinner. Dylag counts 105 people who will be visited in one way or another this year.
"In some ways it's very hard to be good. There's a lot of pride involved. You don't want to step on anybody's toes. We've been met with, 'I don't want that. We don't need it. Take it to somebody else.' Then the next house we're met with tears."
The team also takes fruit baskets to those they know who have been sick, and poinsettias to nursing homes, so the residents know that it's not just their family members who are thinking of them.
The parish relies on many local businesses to help the effort. Kreher Family Farm and Kutter's Cheese have been very generous through the years.
A notice is out into the parish bulletin seeking families who could use a good meal on Christmas. The parish also works with local schools to identify families.
"A lot of the members on our committee were at one point in time a recipient. When they got back on their feet they knew what it meant to them to receive something, not they in turn help out," Dylag said.