I walked into Miss Ella’s bright, corner office of the Wetumpka Police Department the day after her episode aired on Home Town. She welcomed me with kind words and a respectable handshake. Even though she was dressed in her lieutenant uniform, it was her compassionate demeanor that I noticed first. She felt like an old friend from the beginning.
Miss Ella told me she was born and raised in Wetumpka, Alabama. It’s a small town with a population of 8,000 people. She has always loved living here, but she’ll tell you that her life wasn’t easy from the start. She knew that she wanted to accomplish big things and working hard was the way she was going to get there.
“My first job was at a local bank. At that time, I hadn’t finished high school, but my employer was so kind and encouraging. He said, “If you’ll go back and get your diploma, I’ll hire you.” So I did. I enrolled in GED classes, and I got my diploma. He hired me, and I worked there for 8 years.”
During that time, she raised her two children and became more involved with the community. Then the opportunity arose for her to serve in an even greater way. She became the first African American woman to serve in the Wetumpka Police Department.
“I’ve served for over 21 years in the Wetumpka Police Department, and I love my job so much. My greatest passion is serving children in the community. I love creating programs that teach kids the most important things, and it keeps them out of trouble. It’s a small town and everybody knows everybody, which I think is even more reason to look out for one another.”
“Our programs will have 100+ kids a day. We fix them breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of these kids will only have one good meal that day so we want to make it count. We bring the dental hygienist in and talk about good hygiene. We invite a lot of different people to come speak, like military personnel, athletes, preachers and much more. We want to show them what all they can do.”
It is no wonder that the Wetumpka community was so excited to see Miss Ella get the dream house she deserved. On last week’s episode, Erin and Ben were able to transform Miss Ella’s home into a place that reflects her personality and provides functionality in her day-to-day life. “I’m so happy with my new house. Erin told me that there was nothing wrong with it before, but it just didn’t show my personality. My walls were so dark, but the design made everything so bright now. You could tell that renovating my home wasn’t just about making a TV show, everything they did was done with love.”
Miss Ella didn’t waste any time opening her home to others to enjoy. When her episode aired on Home Town, she invited her friends, family and community to share in the fun.
“Miss Ella is like everybody’s momma, she takes care of them like they’re her own. We were so happy to help someone who has helped so many.” — Erin
Now you can help Miss Ella support Wetumpka children by donating to their Operation Backpack Initiative. Their goal is to provide 100 backpacks and supplies to local school children in August.
Make donation checks out to:
Wetumpka Police Department Donation Fund: Operation Backpack
Send donation checks to:
Wetumpka Police Department
Attn: Lt. Ella Roberts
4950 US Hwy 231
Wetumpka, Alabama 36092