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Search The Fig Tree's stories of people who make a difference:

Benefits feature people telling how stories in The Fig Tree help ‘make connections’

At The Fig Tree Benefit Breakfast and Benefit Lunch in March, several speakers will share a few minutes each on the theme, “Making Connections,” telling how The Fig Tree newspaper, resource directory and its online presence help people connect with each other and connect ideas that motivate.

The breakfast buffet begins at 7:15 a.m. and the program at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, March 13, in Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.

The lunch buffet begins at 11:45 a.m. and the program at noon, Friday, March 15, also in Cataldo Hall at Gonzaga University.

The 2013 breakfast speakers include Denise Atwood, fair trade advocate through Ganesh Himal Trading; Jan Martinez, founder and director of Christ Kitchen; John Osborn, a physician and long-time volunteer with the Upper Columbia Chapter of the Sierra Club, and Peggie Troutt, founder and coordinator for the Calvary Soup Kitchen in East Central Spokane.

The lunch speakers are Tony Stewart of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations; Dick Boysen of the Spokane Guild’s School; Nasreen Shah of Jasmine Crafts and the Interfaith Council, and Lena Lopez Schindler of the Cathedral of St. John’s Service League and The Windfall Thrift Store.

Evanne Montoya, an intern from Whitworth University who is writing articles for The Fig Tree, is preparing a video and slide show on the theme.

The events gather both people who value The Fig Tree media and people who are interested in learning about them.  It is a time to celebrate The Fig Tree’s approach to journalism and its media that connect people in the faith and nonprofit communities. 

The events raise funds to help cover the costs of producing the media to share stories of everyday people who make a difference because of their faith and values.

“The benefits are opportunities to articulate our nonprofit model of journalism,” said Fig Tree editor, Mary Stamp, “to tell The Fig Tree story, like public broadcasting appeals, and not only invite support but also to invite people to become involved as volunteers and writers.”

She said this year’s events celebrate the completion of 29 years serving the Inland Northwest and the beginning of the 30th year.

 “While media are not direct service, as people are informed, they are inspired and become involved in serving people and advocating for policies to improve lives,” she said.  “We see when mainstream media focus on disasters, projects or issues, people are motivated to give and to help.  As mass media attention wanes, our media continue to tell stories of how faith and nonprofit communities work to restore lives, reach out and work to make society just.

“The Fig Tree not only makes connections, but also communicates that even though people and institutions may fail, people in faith and nonprofit communities care, serve, overcome divisions, challenge bigotry and greed, and work for shalom,” Mary said.  “Those who live their faith and values give us a plethora of stories to share.”

In 2013, The Fig Tree improved its website at and is using Facebook and Twitter to help connect people with resources.

  This year, The Fig Tree will reprint 10,000 copies of the Elder Refugee Resource Directory it produced in Russian, Arabic, Nepali, Karen and Chin, in collaboration with World Relief, Refugee Connections Spokane and Aging and Long Term Care of Eastern Washington.

In addition, The Fig Tree trains interns from Whitworth University, Gonzaga University and Eastern Washington University, offering practical experience in its solutions-oriented media.

“We need to prepare young journalists for careers in new entrepreneurial forms of responsible community media,” Mary said.

Table hosts cover the cost of the meals for the guests they invite. There are still tables open to host and spaces for people to RSVP. 

For information, call 535-1813, or email

Copyright © March 2013 - The Fig Tree