About 15 years ago, I became friends with a local priest named Fr. Bill. He was assigned to a church in Port Chester, NY called Holy Rosary Church in Port Chester, NY. Fr. Bill was a great idea man and one day we were discussing ways to raise some money at the church. One idea was the selling of blessed palm crosses to the parishioners.
I made up a sample and the priests would display in the church during lent and they would take orders. In the beginning we sold probably under a 100 crosses, but over the next few years the numbers increased and we were selling close to 300 palm crosses. Each cross was hand made and if anyone has ever made them, extremely labor intensive. We delivered beautiful and fresh palm crosses at a reasonable price for years. Many years ago, Fr. Bill was reassigned and many priests have come and gone over the years, but all kept us, the local florist and local business of Port Chester, NY making these palm crosses. We charged a reasonable price for these palm crosses and carefully examined each one to make sure the palm was fresh and the product looked good. The church in Port Chester, NY had increased the number of crosses over the last few years and had ordered over 400 pieces last year. Now, the wisdom of the new priest was to go outside of the local business community and purchase these crosses from an outside wholesaler that sells them cheaper. I consider this church in Port Chester, that I have provided my services for so many years and have given discounts and donations, would so callously reject our services in order to save a couple of bucks. Whatever happened to supporting your local businesses? What should my response be the next time a fund raiser from the church asks for a donation? The fact of the matter is that I was involved in starting the palm cross selling, which decreased the number of crosses I sold retail from my shop, because many of my customers bought them through the church instead of buying them from me. I believe no good deed goes unpunished and some people are very short sighted that they just don’t see the big picture.