October Newsletter


“And whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not for men.”

Colossian 3:23

One of our newest ministries at Tree of Life is Work Heartily in our LifeSkills Branch. This ministry is a developmental program that assists individuals with special needs in securing volunteer and/or paid employment after high school, including providing volunteer job coaches, if needed

It has been just one year since we started this, and we have already placed 15 individuals in both paid and volunteer positions. We have been amazed at the cooperation of local organizations in welcoming this special group of people.  Some of the employers include Loudoun Valley Community Center, Giant, Lincoln Elementary School, Tuscarora High School, and other LCPS facilities.  We’ve also been able to place individuals at SimplyBe Coffee, the Clothing Closet, and as regular volunteers at our Leesburg and Purcellville Food Pantries. The feelings of impact and purpose that employment provides is immeasurable and we are thrilled to provide this support.

If you are an employer who is able to bring on one of these amazing individuals to your team, please email Cindy Welsh at welsh@tolministries.org.


Dental Clinic

In September, we held a FREE Dental Clinic in Leesburg! Twenty-five dentists, techs, and staff took care of 50 patients, providing cleanings, fillings and extractions. This compassionate team at Compass Creek will even be following up with those that require additional care. Many of the patients were new members of our community and had limited dental care in the past.  We were so pleased to be able to provide them additional information about Tree of Life services.  We want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the dental staff who made this possible – they were extremely friendly and excited to be a part of this event.


Meet the Carrs! Lynda and Clyde have been volunteers for Tree of Life in both our Leesburg and Purcellville regions since 2017.  Lynda lead our Community Garden pre-Covid, helping us provide fresh produce to those in need.  More recently the couple have taken the lead in picking up donations from grocery stores in the area, providing essential items for our food pantries and becoming some of our most loyal volunteers. They are also regular customers of both the Clothing Closet and SimplyBe Coffee!

We are so grateful for the commitment the Carrs have made to our ministries!


Community Dinners

Every Tuesday evening at Crossroads Baptist Church in Leesburg, Tree of Life serves a community dinner that is attended by 40-50 people in need of food and fellowship.  These meals are provided by amazing HOST GROUPS that volunteer to cook and serve the dinner.

Right now, 5 of our 9 remaining weeks of dinners in Leesburg for 2023 have no group signed up… could you and your family, friends, small group, church, or business help us fill those gaps?
For more information and to sign up, click WANT TO HELP.  Thank you!



Go Fund Them!

SimplyBe Coffee is coffee with a cause! Our cause is to provide work opportunities to individuals with special needs. Since we opened in 2020, about 30 individuals have worked or volunteered at SimplyBe, gaining valuable experience, developing their skills, and utlizing their strengths. We are so delighted to provide a place to work where they get to be themselves… wonderfully made!

What you might not know is that we rely on grants and incredible donors to bridge the gap between our coffee sales and our operating costs. We still have a gap in our funding and need your help to sustain SimplyBe Coffee in Leesburg.

We hope you’ll consider helping this amazing cause by donating.




Last Call for Golfers!

Tree of Life’s Annual Golf Tournament is October 13th at Raspberry Golf and Hunt Club in Leesburg.  We still have a few spots left for golfers and foursomes – grab your friends and join us for this fun event in support of a great cause!



Following Paul’s announcement of stepping back from day-to-day leadership at Tree of Life early next year, a search committee has been formed to begin the process of finding our next CEO. Information about the position has been prepared and is being shared in order to connect us with qualified, interested applicants. Your prayers are welcome as we move forward with this important process.




The Purpose of Tree of Life is to reach out to the poor and needy in our community with the love of Jesus Christ.  So who are the poor and needy?

David sings about the poor and needy in Psalm 40:17, and states he is among them.  “Yet I am poor and needy; may the Lord think of me.  You are my help and my deliverer; O my God, do not delay.”

In studying Scripture, I find that the poor are in want, subject to oppression and abuse, and need help and deliverance from trouble.  Likewise, the needy are afflicted, weak, humble and lowly.

In our community, we find the poor and needy among our most vulnerable populations.  We find people who are homeless, those struggling to make ends meet and those who have physical or mental disabilities.  To each one we meet, we recognize their value to the Lord and ask to bless them with prayer, food and clothes.

We also discover that many are spiritually poor and needy; they lack a relationship with Jesus or desire to increase their faith in Him.  We pray for them also, and provide opportunities for discipleship for them through local churches.

Through this blessing, we desire for them to see that the food, clothes and other assistance that we offer isn’t from us at all—we present it to them as a blessing from Jesus Christ.  It is His love and His name that is attached to every gift!

As David states, we are all poor and needy, and ask the Lord to think of us as we look to Him for help and deliverance.

May you be blessed,
Chaplain Wayne Ruckman