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Volunteer coordinator started with Fig Tree as volunteer

Kaye Hult recruits volunteers for The Fig Tree.

Kaye Hult, administrative and volunteer coordinator, began volunteering at The Fig Tree in early 2011. She did many of the tasks she now assigns volunteers to do.

"Volunteers do all sorts of things. They help with editing, writing, putting out mailings, delivering papers, making phone calls, planning events and doing other office work," she said.

Sometimes Kaye has to scramble to find someone to fill a slot, but "the people who work with us love what we're doing and continually tell me that they value being part of The Fig Tree."

As volunteer coordinator, she understands the tasks she assigns.

Kaye is part of an interfaith volunteer team that helps plan the annual Eastern Washington Legislative Conference to inform people what the Washington State Legislature is doing.

"We bring together people from Catholic Charities, Faith Action Network, Earth Ministry/Interfaith Power and Light, the NAACP and more to plan the event and offer a variety of perspectives on issues," she said.  "Through the lens of faiths, we raise discussion on issues, offer information and a chance to think about the concerns so members of faith communities can talk intelligently to the legislators about what they believe is in the best interest of the state.

"Recently, I was buying a cup of coffee and talking with a woman in a store. She was railing about how everything she heard that morning on the news was negative, and she couldn't stand it," Kaye said.

"One talking point for The Fig Tree is that it is a place that shares good news, the good things that are happening. We share stories of people who are out there trying to build up the community and the world," she said.

"There are such people all over the place, but we don't hear those stories," said Kaye. "The Fig Tree is wonderful about getting those stories out.

"I feel I am part of an incredibly important mission to tell stories of others, to let the world know there is hope in this place and this time. People are doing phenomenal things right in our own backyard.

"That matters. It sets me thinking about what I'm doing, what I could be doing, what actions I take and how I am doing my part to build up the world," said Kaye, who also helps write stories about people in North Idaho, where she lives.

Recently she wrote about a barber who donates his time to people who have been homeless by giving them a new look so they can interview for a job.

"It builds up their life. It's a tiny thing, but incredibly important," she said. "I talk with other people who are doing larger things like influencing the way Kootenai County operates.

"The team I work with amazes me with their dedication, energy and creativity. It's an amazing place for me to be," said Kaye, noting that The Fig Tree mission fits her sense of what the church is.

Kaye learned about The Fig Tree through First Christian (Disciples of Christ) Church in Coeur d'Alene, where she began attending soon after moving to North Idaho in 2010, because her husband Al's son and two grandchildren live in Coeur d'Alene. A short while later, she attended Veradale United Church of Christ (UCC).

She began volunteering at The Fig Tree to help build an archival database of articles. Now living in Post Falls, she has been developing relationships and outlets for The Fig Tree in North Idaho.

After Kaye earned a bachelor's degree in social work at the University of Wisconsin in 1970, she attended the Catherine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York, worked six months with Merrill Lynch and two years as a copy editor with the UCC's A.D. magazine and United Church Herald.

She helped build a trimaran sailboat in Connecticut, sailed it and married in 1975. Moving to Boston, she did typesetting, attended Boston University School of Theology from 1980 to 1983 and was ordained a UCC pastor in 1984.

Kaye served two small churches near Toledo, Ohio, until 1988, when she went to Cape Cod for her husband to teach school. She became part-time minister of education at North Falmouth UCC in 1988 and was minister to single adults at First Congregational Church in Falmouth, as well as secretary in a law office  until 1996. During that time, she divorced in 1992 and married Al Torres in 1994.

Kaye then served as pastor of the United Church of Bellows Falls, Vt., from 1996 until she retired in 2010.

Before Kaye moved to Coeur d'Alene, Southeastern Vermont Community Action honored her for her religious and community work, including helping start an emergency warming shelter for homeless people.

Kaye now serves reports on North Idaho for The Fig Tree and attends Shalom UCC/Mennonite Church in Spokane.

For information, call 535-4112 or email

Copyright@ The Fig Tree, April 2024