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We've all heard about Fair Trade coffee, fruit, etc. But have you heard about Fair Trade palms for Palm Sunday? It's obviously too late for this year, but we're posting this for possible use for next year.

Eco-Palms is based in Minnesota. It started some years ago and is now used in 49 states. Eco-Palms are environmentally friendly palms that protect the forests in Central America and Mexico and support the palm laborers' communities. Some residents of the Twin Cities may have read the article in the Sunday, April 9, Star Tribune. If you missed the article, please read the article here and pass it on to people who may order the palms for your worship site.

It all started with a partnership with four communities in Guatemala and Mexico where workers in palm forest use sustainable practices, eg: no pesticides. Workers there are trained in these practices by a U.S. palm importer. Workers receive a fair wage for their work so they can raise their children, send them to school, etc. This is the same as other Fair Trade products.

Many of us probably gave little thought to where the palms we received on Palm Sunday originated. Never gave it a thought, but for palm farmers in Guatemala and Mexico it's their means of earning a living. Let's give it a thought for next year and contact those who are responsible in our churches and parishes for ordering the palms for next year. Now's the time to start.

Fair Trade palms do not have the shelf life that other Fair Trade products have. Palm fronds dry out and there is roughly a two week period to move fresh branches to U.S. churches. There are no known disappointments so far in past years and business is growing. FedEx is used to ship the palms from Minnesota and the typical order is about 250 to 300 fronds, which costs $78 plus $22 shipping. Perhaps, this is somewhat more than you're used to paying, but remember that fair wages go to the growers! This is true with other Fair Trade products as well.

Please consider this for next year. Here's the link you need to get started:

Please pass this on to others. Thank you!


The new budget that President Trump has submitted eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). If you enjoy the Arts, now is the time to make your voice heard. We need to stand up for creative expression and cultural and artistic understanding. Please take the time to contact President Trump at the information given below.

We don't want President Trump to cut funding for our creativity and freethinking. America is a global leader in the Arts and we don't want a budget cut to put an end to that. Again, please take the time to act by contacting President Trump.

Here's how to contact him:

President Donald J. Trump
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

White House Comment Line: 202-456-1111 (We have been informed that President Trump's staff is not answering this line, but you might want to try!)

White House Switchboard: 202-456-1414

White House FAX: 202-456-2461

Thanks for getting involved.


--Immigrants made up 17% of the U.S.'s 161 million-member workforce in 2014. (Pew). Top workplaces by share of immigrant workers:

45%--Private households
35%--Textile, apparel, leather manufacturing
29%--Food manufacturing

--73% of Americans say that overall, immigration is good for the United States. 24% think it's bad for the country. (Gallup)