BETHLEHEM, Pa. - In our communities, there are people every day who go above and beyond and may not get any sort of recognition. 69 News is proud to salute these unsung heroes, in a series of stories nominated by our viewers.
Sunday services at the Hungarian Evangelical Reformed Church in Bethlehem are small.
"The old Hungarian tradition [is] if the moon is shaped like we have here it means you'll always have some money in your pocket," said Rev. Ron Hari.
But with a dwindling congregation, money was hard to come by three years ago, until Reverend Hari took advantage of his Hungarian baking tradition and started making strudel and selling it.
Hari was nominated as an Unsung Hero by Christen Borso because she said he saved their church.
"He does all of this baking in order to keep the church doors open, so I thought it was very important for him to know just how important what he does for this church meant to everybody here," Borso said.
"We made $45,000 on baked goods to renovate the entire upstairs of the church," Hari said.
This year's project was the electrical wiring.
"There's no way we'd get $500 on a Sunday. People are on fixed incomes," Hari added.
But thanks to baking almost every Thursday, the Hungarian Evangelical Reformed Church with about 20 members makes that much money each week.
"If we wouldn't have started this three years ago, we would have closed. That's how bad our finances were. We're okay now," Hari said.
Hari works part-time and his take home pay is $125 a week. Obviously, he's not here for the money.
" It doesn't matter. I enjoy doing this and I have a good crew of people. And as long I don't have to wash the dishes I'm fine," Hari said.
He takes care of his congregation and his craft. And with the Hungarian moon overhead, it looks like baking will keep money in their pockets.
Allentown, PA 18102