is the Founder and Executive Director of The ELLA Foundation, a 501(c)3 based in Savannah, GA.

ELLA’s mission is to aid those affected by violence, mental illness, and the criminal justice system.

Founder & Director

Charity is the daughter of a murdered father, daughter of an acquitted mother, mother of a murdered daughter, and mother of a murderer...

When Charity was 6 years old, her father was murdered in the family home. Her mother was subsequently charged with, tried for, and acquitted of, murder-for-hire in his death. During her youth and young adulthood, she coped with mental health and addiction issues, experienced the birth of two children, Paris and Ella, and led a predominately successful life. 

On February 4, 2007, Charity’s 13-year old son, Paris, murdered his 4-year old sister, Ella. One month after Ella’s murder, the Texas Youth Commission, the juvenile agency that would soon have permanent custody and care of Charity’s son, was investigated by the Feds because of physical and sexual abuse of the children in their care. The Texas Legislature was forced to implement reforms in order to avoid indictment. 

Convinced her son was ill and needed treatment, and believing he deserved to be treated with unconditional love and forgiveness, rather than sexually and physically abused by  Texas authorities, Charity began to work tirelessly as an advocate on issues related to juvenile justice reform. Over time she expanded her focus to advocate on behalf of adult prisoners, those on Death Rows across America, murder victim family members, and victims of family violence. 

While to many these populations may appear to have conflicting needs, Charity has learned from her years as a woman defined by violence that once violence has occurred there are no longer “sides”. There are just those who suffer the affects of violence.

In spite of living in a world turned inside out and upside down by the loss of both her children, Charity found her calling, and that led to the creation of The ELLA Foundation.

ELLA is grounded on the belief that we can empower people affected by violence to become effective advocates for good in their own lives and advocates for change in their communities with ELLA: Empathy, Love, Lessons, and Action.

Work With Charity Lee Today

Charity has traveled the US, Canada, and Africa and shared her story and example of unconditional love for all, be they criminal or victim, with thousands.

She is a certified Crisis Interventionist with over 2000 hours volunteer experience, a certified Anger Management Specialist, a certified Theft Addiction Specialist, a certified Seeking Safety facilitator, and has developed numerous evidence-based programs for those affected by violence. 

She is also a prolific public speaker and speaks on a wide range of topics such as motherhood, the death penalty, mass incarceration, forgiveness, unconditional love, empathy, empathy training for correctional officers, resiliency, victimization, family trauma, childhood trauma, mental health and faith, addiction and recovery, trauma recovery, and nonprofit management. 

Charity is also the subject of the documentary The Family I Had, which premiered at the 2017 Tribeca Film Fest, and has been distributed worldwide. 

Inquire About Charity Lee for Your Next Event

For more information or to book Charity for a speaking engagement, or to schedule a screening of The Family I Had, please send an email to   

Please sign up for email updates and contact Charity at to book an engagement.  

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