Helping Hands: Tree of Life Ministries Put in a Full Day’s Work

Paul Smith, executive director of the Purcellville-based Tree of Life Ministries, was elated with the Community Serve Day held by the nonprofit on Saturday.

“The essence of the day was community impact,” Smith said, adding the organization is working to expand its reach to Leesburg and Winchester.

The three events held over the weekend in Purcellville and Winchester served some 500 people, aided by 241 volunteers, Smith said.

The events included a clothing and furniture giveaway, a home renovation, and a homeless shelter landscaping project. The Purcellville Baptist Church offered its premises for the clothing and furniture giveaway, and Tree of Life volunteers served breakfast to those who attended.

Smith said he was surprised and pleased by the volunteer turnout for the annual giveaway. “There were so many new volunteers who were having meaningful conversations with attendees,” he said.

Smith said the site of the house renovation project was “unbelievable” when he turned up there after helping with the giveaway event.

“There were 89 volunteers there, giving up their day literally to turn the house upside down,” Porch repairsSmith said. Improvements were made to an access ramp, the kitchen, front and back porches, the roof, sitting room, bathroom, basement, along with painting inside and out and replacing the flooring.

The house belongs to an 83-year-old woman who has lived there since she was a child.

“We live in the wealthiest corner of the globe, and you have 89 volunteers working on a house that’s falling down around you,” Smith said. “We all need to open our eyes and look for those in need.” Tree of Life has seven housing units it rents to individuals who need homes.

Smith emphasized the nonprofit was not there to give handouts, as much as “help with a hand up, invite people to come along and join our life skills branch—to help them find work, balance a budget and encourage them to establish a productive lifestyle.”

The third project was to landscape the Winchester Salvation Army Homeless Shelter. Volunteers from the Western Loudoun Volleyball Club helped with the work.

Tree of Life members serve a free meal at the shelter each month. It also serves a weekly meal in Purcellville.

Tree of Life Ministries began in 2010 as a collaborative effort of Christian churches reaching out to those in need across western Loudoun County. The nonprofit is supported by 16 churches and more than 400 volunteers.

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One thought on “Helping Hands: Tree of Life Ministries Put in a Full Day’s Work

  • 2016-05-08 at 11:51 am

    Many volunteers were initially shocked and dismayed by the overwhelming need for food requested by their neighbors in western Loudoun. However once the message was relayed by word of mouth, advertisement, public relations and much prayer, the volunteers were delighted as the entire community organized to meet the serious needs of their neighbors. The churches, schools and local businesses have come through to donate their time, service and treasure.

    Tree of Life Ministries is a non profit organization with one purpose to reach out to the poor and needy in our community with the love of Jesus Christ. They do that by embracing the Principles that Jesus taught to meet all needs. The path followed extends a practical helping hand across 5 Branches: food, life skills, shelter, healthcare and relief. The Tree of Life Food Pantry, founded in November 2009, is an all volunteer organization.

    Tree of Life received the 2010 Loudoun Volunteer Organization of the Year Award on Monday, April 19 at the County Board of Supervisors Meeting in Leesburg. Annually the Volunteer Loudoun Board of Directors recognizes residents of Loudoun County who provide exceptional service and make a significant difference in the lives of others and in our greater community. The faith based food pantry thanks all of those men, women, teens and children who spent hundreds of volunteer hours reaching out to support their neighbors in need.

    TOL serves people of any faith or no faith. Their proven programs allow Christian churches, schools, public and private agencies, businesses and other groups to make a difference in their community by networking and sharing resources without having to establish independent programs.

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