ELLA Foundation Blog

Happy, You Would Have Been 15 Today, Birthday Ella Lee...

Well, my girl, here we are again. Spring has sprung. Butterflies are beginning to flock to your grandmother's butterfly gardens. Life is in the air in more ways than one. And it is what would have been your 15th birthday.

Posted by: Charity Lee on Apr 12, 2017 2:04:27 PM

Topics: Charity Lee, Motherhood, Paris Lee Bennett, TDCJ, The ELLA Foundation, unconditional love, murdered child, grief, death anniversary, birthday of deceased loved one, healing from grief

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Dear Mothers...

On April 12, exactly one week from today, I will be sitting with my sister-from-another-mother, Marilyn Shankle-Grant. We will sit together that day as two mothers; two mothers brought together and bonded by two things: murder and love. 

Posted by: Charity Lee on Apr 5, 2017 10:22:03 AM

Topics: Charity Lee, Motherhood, anti-death penalty, capital punishment, TDCJ, The ELLA Foundation

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The Family I Had

Dear Paris:

I received your letter yesterday with a mixture of relief that, at least when you wrote it, you were physically okay, and trepidation over what the contents could be. I have so many thoughts running through my head, and so many conflicting emotions when it comes to you to sort out, I have no idea where to start this letter. Should I even start this letter weighs heavy on my mind too, because no matter how much I love you (and I do love you in a way you are not able to love me), you are capable only of offering me a future filled with more pain and suffering, while you remain seemingly aloof from any sense of suffering for anyone other than yourself.

Posted by: Charity Lee on Jul 24, 2014 5:21:10 PM

Topics: Home

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Promises Made, Promises Kept....Happy Birthday Paris Lee....

My son's 20th birthday was yesterday. This is the text of the letter I sent him. It is the only gift I am allowed to send. It seems my letter to him was prophetic, and well timed, because five days ago he was placed in solitary confinement and is scheduled to be transferred to another unit at some point in time unknown to me. He was told this was done because he finished orientation and could now be placed in a more permanent unit. He has been in TDCJ for more than a year.

Posted by: Charity Lee on Oct 11, 2013 11:53:00 PM

Topics: Home

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"Not What You Think" by Paul Storey, Texas Death Row Inmate #999538

A dear friend of mine who is incarcerated at the infamous Polunsky Unit, home of Texas’ Death Row, is the author of the second installment of ELLA’s New Voices series. I have known Paul now for two years and have visited often. Paul is a gentle giant and thoughtful soul whose worst mistake in life was not to stand up to his friend when he learned his plan for the day. Paul did not kill anyone. This is not a mistake he should die for.

Posted by: Charity Lee on Sep 17, 2013 12:32:15 AM

Topics: blog, Home, inmate essays, anti-death penalty, capital punishment, essays of the incarcerated, prison writing, The ELLA Foundation, unconditional love

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New Voices Essay: Paris Lee Bennett

On Friday, May 10th, I was interviewed at the Clemens Unit, the unit to which I am assigned, by Mike Barajas, a reporter with the San Antonio Current. To the best of my already considerable and perpetually growing knowledge of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice’s (TDCJ) rules and regulations, offenders meeting with media representatives are to be afforded a measure of privacy. No such privilege was granted to Mr. Barajas and me. Our meeting took place among a group of interconnected offices located just past the gate that admits one into the prison proper. The “walls” dividing one office from the next are hardly more than whitewashed wooden partitions; the doors are not much thicker and have (what I posit are not glass) windows set into them at chest height. I find it hard to believe that anyone in the office could have missed our conversation had we spoken loudly enough.

Posted by: Charity Lee on Sep 12, 2013 8:29:56 PM

Topics: blog, Charity Lee, Home, inmate essays, Paris Lee Bennett, prison guard intimidation, essays of the incarcerated, media in the prisons, prison writing, TDCJ, The ELLA Foundation, unconditional love

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ELLA Shares New Voices....

The ELLA Foundation is pleased to announce that we are turning over our blog to the inmates, inmates’ families, and victims of violent crime that we serve. A large part of what we do at ELLA is two-fold: we strive to educate the public on the horrible and often inhumane experiences of those in prison and to help those who have been affected by violent crime to find their voice and to use it to create good in the world again. What better way to achieve either goal than to let those ELLA embraces use our blog?

Posted by: Charity Lee on Sep 12, 2013 6:22:53 PM

Topics: blog, Charity Lee, Home, inmate essays, anti-death penalty, capital punishment, essays of the incarcerated, prison writing, The ELLA Foundation, unconditional love

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A Tribute to Motherhood Speech

I was asked to come speak to you today about motherhood…something I hope I know a little bit about considering I’m about to give birth to my third child any day now!

Posted by: Charity Lee on May 12, 2013 8:27:29 AM

Topics: blog, Home, Motherhood, The ELLA Foundation, unconditional love

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ELLA is seeking donations of good and/or services to be raffled off!

To Whom It May Concern:

Posted by: Charity Lee on Mar 18, 2013 5:39:57 PM

Topics: Home, Donations, fundraising, raffle, The ELLA Foundation

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A Story of Love, Violence, and Charity

I recently had the honor of writing a blog for One For Ten! Just learned that is has gone live!

Posted by: Charity Lee on Mar 5, 2013 8:58:58 PM

Topics: Charity Lee, Home, One For Ten, anti-death penalty, capital punishment, The ELLA Foundation

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