Tree of Life Releases UNAFRAID, a Short Documentary Film

Sam Mason and Ethan Weitz

On March 22, 2024, Tree of Life premiered the short documentary film entitled “Unafraid” by the creator of Hero and Heart Films, Ethan Weitz.  The film highlights the profound impact Tree of Life’s ministries have had on the lives of individuals with disabilities in Loudoun County and focuses on one such young man, Sam Mason.

Sam joined Tree of Life’s Still Waters Ministry when it first began as a respite program for families of children with special needs, providing parents with a safe and nurturing place to drop off their children twice a month free of charge.  The program soon transformed into one that included the whole family, as parents sought advice, encouragement, and support from fellow caregivers living similar experiences.

As many of the original Still Waters partners became adults, Tree of Life became aware of the serious need for work opportunities for individuals with disabilities following high school. In response, Tree of Life’s Gospel Enterprise, SimpyBe Coffee, was launched in 2020. With the specific purpose of providing work opportunities for this community, both paid and volunteer, Sam Mason became one of its first employees. SimplyBe has been able to provide 30 individuals with work experience in its short 4 years, including many who have worked at the shop since the beginning, like Sam.

In 2021, the Still Waters program began to grow exponentially under the leadership of Cindy Welsh.  The twice a month events became multiple weekly activities ranging from sports and fitness, crafts, cooking, and games to popular seasonal dances.  Each event seeks to ensure that the participants feel accepted, celebrated, and empowered.

Later, inspired by the amazing impact of providing work through SimplyBe, Tree of Life’s Work Heartily Ministry was launched to provide support for families in placing their adult children with employment at other businesses, as well as schools, non-profits, and county facilities.  The program has been hugely successful, placing another 44 individuals with disabilities in employment in 2023. Alongside Work Heartily, additional advocacy was developed to help school-aged individuals receive the support they need from the county, including individualized education plans, so that when they graduated, they were equipped to reach their full potential.

Most recently, Tree of Life hit a huge milestone by providing independent housing for individuals with disabilities in 2023.  Sam and his roommate, Mitchell, moved into a two-bedroom home in Purcellville in the fall of last year achieving a dream that both their families weren’t sure would ever be possible.  The new housing has instilled hope and confidence in both young men and will serve as a model as Tree of Life continues to expand its housing opportunities to this community.

The documentary shows the personal side of this ministry by focusing on Sam’s journey – including the challenges that this community faces daily and the impact that support, encouragement, and opportunity can have in facing those challenges and becoming “UNAFRAID” in living out God’s purpose for their life.  And we are so excited to share this story with you.

We are so grateful for the support of the many volunteers, donors, families, and organizations that have walked alongside Tree of Life to make these programs possible.  This is a community effort at its very heart, the fruit of which is on full display in the documentary.  We hope you’ll join us in supporting and celebrating these very special men and women as we seek to make sure they are all “unafraid” of the life God has set before them.


To view the full documentary go to: