JANUARY 11, 1957
NEW YORK—A letter which interested me very much came to me the other day from a business firm in Chicago.
We all know a week is set aside each year as Brotherhood Week, during which speeches are made and attention is otherwise drawn to the fact that we need to learn to live together in brotherly love, no matter what our race or religion. We may not all really love each other, but we should learn to live together and iron out our differences. Nationwide, this is drawn to our attention by the President once a year.
In Chicago, the King Korn Stamp Company is trying to put brotherhood to work in daily life, inaugurating this week religious discussions at its employees' daily coffee hour. For its opening meeting, the company asks its employes to sit down with clergymen of three different faiths and discuss religion.
The president of the firm, Peter Volid, says the aim is to put religious principles to work in the business world. Every week clergymen of different denominations will lead the discussion in the weekly half-hour session.
About 100 employes contributed their share of time and came to the first meeting. They plan to open the series with a short talk by the clergyman who is present and then have a general discussion of a religious nature, leaving the topics to the development of the interest that employes show.
The program is on a voluntary basis, but its promoters hope there will be sufficient interest shown by the employes to have it continue through the year.
King Korn is a firm which trades in stamps on a nationwide basis and is probably the third largest of its kind in this country, so it will be interesting to see the results that come from this experiment.
Now that I am telling you about business ventures, I would like to tell you about quite a different one known as the Elder Craftsmen Shop at 850 Lexington Avenue, New York 21, N.Y. You will find a variety of articles in this shop, but not a single thing on exhibition can be accepted for sale unless the person making it is 60 years of age or over. Exceptions to this rule are made occasionally for special reasons by the executive committee running this venture.
Usually, contributors bring their own samples in, but they may send a representative or, if they live at a distance, they may send them by mail for judging by the pricing committee. In this case, a return address and postage must be enclosed with the package.
Seventy-five percent of the sales price will go back to the maker and the shop will retain 25 percent for overhead expenses. This shop is run on businesslike lines, but it also is furnishing a service. I recommend that you visit it, for I am sure you will find some gifts of special interest.