Local Walmart Store Funds Palmetto Place

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again, we wouldn’t be able to give children and teens a safe, loving home without the support of the community behind us. We are incredibly thankful for Walmart #4506, or as most of us know it, the Walmart on Killian Rd here in Columbia. For the second year in a row, they have chosen to support Palmetto Place.

Since 2012, Walmart #4506 had donated $5,000.00 to our shelter. This money is used to provide healthy meals and snacks for the residents. Between the two houses, we serve 32 meals and 18 snacks each week during the school year and even more during the summer months.

Walmart awards grants to local organizations making a difference on key issues in communities where Walmart Stores, clubs and distribution center associates live and work. In FY15, over 46,000 grants equaling more than $47 million were provided to organizations, including law enforcement agencies, fire departments, schools, recreation centers and more.

So, next time you’re out shopping let the Walmart employees know that we all appreciate their support. For more information on Walmart Giving and the Walmart Foundation please visit: http://giving.walmart.com/foundation

walmart foundation

New Year Resolutions

Every year January rolls around. It’s nature’s reset button on life, a chance to put the last year behind you and start the new year off right. One of our favorite things about January is making resolutions with the kids. They are so young, full of hope, and their resolutions are inspiring, so we wanted to share a few with you.

Michelle, our soon to be 9-year-old, resolved to be a doctor. Despite explaining that a new year’s resolution is usually something you want to do in the coming year, this stayed first on her list and there was no talking her out of it. Her other resolution is to join a sports team- maybe soccer (even though she doesn’t like the soccer ball) or maybe volleyball.

Our teens resolved to “be more fit”, love their bodies, and stick with their workout groups. They have started getting together each night before dinner to do some quick workouts. They encourage each other to hold that plank for a few more seconds and do just one more push up. They have even started taking turns leading the groups too!

There were lots of resolutions to get better grades, pass their classes and be more organized, but one teen’s resolutions hit our hearts hard. She wants a better relationship with her family, to go home and feel loved, but she also wants to give back to her Palmetto Place family for being there when she needed it most.

She’s a reminder of all the kids who have lived at Palmetto Place who consider our staff, volunteers and other residents family. Palmetto Place has seen 40 new years and more than 7,000 children and teens since it’s founding. Here’s to another year full of love and laughter. Happy 2017!


A Farewell from Erin

I am sitting at a coffee shop this morning for the peace and quiet that is needed to write this heartfelt thank you and farewell. It is a Wednesday, the day I am at our teen house early to see the teens each week before they head off to school.


One young lady wanted to wear her pajama pants to school. One young man was helping another with his tie for his ROTC uniform. One left before I got there –driving his own car to school. (the car was given to him through a partnership with the Foster Parent Association) One wanted to talk about his family member who passed away suddenly last week. Two of our college girls were sleeping in, their classes didn’t start until late morning, so I peeked under the quilts to say hi.


This morning has been my life for the past five years. Not just my job, but my life–the life of my family and friends, who have listened to every success story, every heartbreaking story, every life story of every kid who’s come through Palmetto Place. That’s about 500 kids and more than 500 stories in my five years.


When I arrived at Palmetto Place, we had one well-loved old house. We had 10 or so kids, mostly elementary school age or younger. We had a brand new strategic plan that suggested we build a new house by 2018.


Now it’s 2017. We have a brand new old house that is just as loved as before, with the homey feeling of the old house and the clean lines of a new house. We have a second house just for our high school and college students. We have more than 30 kids who call Palmetto Place home.


It took a village to make all of this happen. We couldn’t have done this without you. Each of you has contributed in some way–time, talents, financial contributions, furniture, clothing and so much more. Thank you. Thank you for what you’ve done, for the house you’ve built, for birthdays, high school graduations, cars, vans, prom, cheerleading camp, Christmas and everything in between. Thank you for sharing the Palmetto Place story with your family and friends and bringing more gifts to our kids. Thank you for listening and thinking about how you could help. Thank you to our staff for loving and caring for our kids in a way that real family does–and for a long time after kids have left Palmetto Place. Thank you to our board members for incredible leadership, for vision, for taking risks and for wanting to do more and for wanting to do what’s right for kids.


Palmetto Place has changed my life, changed who I am and changed how I see the world. This organization and these kids have raised my expectations of human beings – because I’ve seen true giving and selflessness.


But now, it’s time for me to pass the reins on to another leader. It’s time for me to find a new challenge to take on. That new challenge will be serving as the CEO of the Palmetto Association for Children & Families. PAFCAF represents the organizations in South Carolina who care for children who have been abused, neglected or are medically fragile – and work to promote the best care of these children.


Leaving Palmetto Place was an incredibly difficult decision but it’s an opportunity that won’t come around again for me. I’m not going far–my office is in Columbia and you’ll see me at Baubles & Bubbles, Sweet & Savory and the golf tournament. The kids will still see me lots of Wednesday mornings before they go to school. I leave with a full and grateful heart and look forward to telling the stories of kids across South Carolina and doing more for children and families.


Farewell, my friends. Thank you.


So, farewell and thank you to all of you for the many gifts you’ve given to Palmetto Place and to me. I will miss all of you but your work for Palmetto Place will continue. There will always be kids who need you.



Erin G. Hall

Palmetto Place Executive Director

October 2012-January 2017

Sweet & Savory 2017


Save the Date for April 27th, 2017! 

SC State Museum- Planetarium Lobby, 301 Gervais St., Columbia, SC 29201 6:00-9:00 PM

Help us celebrate 40 years of service at Sweet & Savory! Our annual chef’s competition is the only event where you can find sweet treats and savory hors d’oeurves from the Midland’s most talented chefs! Join us for a night of tasty treats, live music, and friendly competition. Let your inner foodie out and be the judge – vote for your favorite sweet and savory dish!


Tickets are $40 for individuals or $75 for couples. You can purchase tickets at the door or online. To purchase individual tickets click here. To purchase couples tickets click here.

Attire is everything from business attire to cocktail dresses, suits to khakis & polos.


About Palmetto Place

Palmetto Place has cared for more than 7,000 children and teens in the last 40 years. We are a safe haven for teens who find themselves living on the streets with no one to turn to and children who have been abused or neglected. We provide love and support and give our residents an opportunity for a brighter future. Despite the tragic stories, our home is filled with the laughter of new friendships. It’s where teens learn to drive, get their first job, and go prom. It’s where kids make the honor roll, play in the park and have the chance to just be a kid. Palmetto Place is home and family for many of the state’s most vulnerable children and teens.

By attending Sweet & Savory, you’re showing these kids the community they live in cares about them. You’re showing them hope for a brighter future. Help us celebrate the last 40 years and 7,000 children and teens who called Palmetto Place home, and help us look forward to new possibilities and the next 7,000 children to call our house home.


Chef Lawrence Wright, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina– Anson Mills Carolina Gold Rice Grits Cakes, Braised Heritage Farms Cheshire Pork Cheeks, Charred Tomatillo, Pickled Sweet Corn

Chef Vinnie Livoti, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina – Leg of Lamb over Crunchy Potato Cake

Chef Ben Perzan and Chef Arie Shenkar, the Mediterranean Tea Room – Beef Brisket Sliders

Chef Dave Grillo, Cantina 76– Braised Beef Short Rib Mini Taco topped with Fried Garlic Aioli and Pickled Red Onions

Chef Dave Grillo, Za’s Brick Oven Pizza– Mini French Silk Pie

Chef Charlie Young, – BBQ Sliders and Slaw

Chef Yasmeen Bull and Chef Brenda Perry, Southern Foodservice Management – Fried Baby Back Ribs over Oriental Slaw

Chef Robert Stegall-Smith, Performance Foodservice Florence – Salted Caramel Truffles and Palmetto State Pork Belly

Chef Brian Dukes, Sysco – Certified Angus Beef “Knuckle Sandwich” with Brussel Kraut

Chef Britney Jerome, Sysco – Ricotta and Lingonberry Tart


If you are a chef interested in competing in Sweet & Savory please email grace@palmettoplaceshelter.org for more information.


Gold Sponsors:


BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina


Allstar Financial Group


Southern Foodservice Management


Lambert Architecture and Construction Services

Chef Station Sponsors: 


D’s Trees




Hoffman Mechanical Solutions


Gibson & Associates

Bronze Sponsors:

Hood Construction

Bar Sponsor: 

Sowell Gray

Haynsworth Sinkler and Boyd, P.A.


Comer Distributing Logo

Comer Distributing Company, founded 1971, in Rock Hill, SC by H. Leon Comer Sr.  Our initial products were from Jos. Schlitz Brewing Co., but over the 45 years in business several other major domestic, imported, and craft brands have been added to the portfolio, along with additional territories.  Servicing several counties in the Upstate and Midlands, Comer Distributing takes great pride in service and excellence, and in exceeding all expectations of our customers and suppliers.


Topper’s Rhum- Locally Owned and Imported into the USA – Handmade in St. Maarten –  The World’s Best Tasting, Award Winning, Premium Rhum.


Banner Sponsors: 

First Citizens Bank


Our events are nothing without our sponsors. If you are interested in sponsoring this event please email grace@palmettoplaceshelter.org for more information.

Our musical guests, Not Even Brothers, is Pat Phillips and Guy Workman. Their driving acoustic guitars, tight harmonies and unusual mix or original songs and obscure classics has set them apart from other “Top 40” style bands. They know when to be soft and mellow with acoustic guitar and flute or drive the dance floor with full percussion, LED Lighting, rhythm and lead guitars. For more info on Not Even Brothers visit: facebook.com/NotEvenBrothers/

Not Even Brothers Band

Special Guest Judges:

Jacquelyn McHugh – Jacquelyn is the owner and Editor-in-Chief of Edible Charleston & Edible Columbia. She received her degrees in Sports Medicine & Nutrition, all the while spending almost 10 years in the food & beverage industry. Her experience in Hospitality and Wellness paved the way for her to ‘make the world a better place’ through food and education. As a mother of two young boys, sharing the importance of sustainability and wholesome food has become her priority, and through Edible she embraces the opportunity to share this vision with the Lowcountry & Midlands.


Elizabeth McHugh – Elizabeth is the Director of Sales at Edible Charleston & Edible Columbia. Working in restaurants the past 5 years and growing up with a Greek mother, she adopted a love for food and all things tasty. Her background in psychology, neuroscience and health & wellness coaching fuels her passion for creating community, especially in regards to good food, understanding where it comes from, and creating the relationships to foster this.


Ron McHugh- Weighing in at 260lbs with over 25 years of eating experience, Ron brings an eclectic palate to the table (literally). With 10 years in the hospitality industry, he has had the opportunity to experience a variety of cuisines globally. As a former chef, Ron specializes in traditional American fare. His favorite dish to savor is a cheeseburger with crinkle cut fries. Currently, Ron spends time in his own kitchen while supporting Edible Charleston and Edible Columbia in various capacities.columbia-Black-Logo-square Charleston Black Logo

Let us know if you’re attending by visiting our Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/679355682226471/

January Needs

The Holidays are over, kids are back in school and things are returning to normal. We so thankful for everyone who donated last month and helped us stock up on the items we use most! Right now we are looking for twin bed frames, twin bedding, dressers and bookshelves for both houses. If you have an extra bed frame, dresser or bookshelf please email Grace@Palmettoplaceshelter.org to schedule a pickup or dropoff. New twin bedding can be shipped to P.O. Box 3395, Columbia, SC 29230 or to The Hobbs Group Attn: Allyson Dehart, 1704 Laurel St., Columbia, SC 29201.


You can also find our wish-list-2015 and our Amazon Wish List here! 

Here’s a peek at the house on Christmas Eve after Santa visited.




MAXIMUS Foundation Funds Palmetto Place

Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter is happy to announce they were recently awarded a $5,000 grant from the MAXIMUS Foundation for their innovative work to support the homeless teen population in the Midlands.

The MAXIMUS Foundation’s biannual grant making program is an extremely competitive process. Therefore, this grant signifies how particularly impressed their Board of Directors was with Palmetto Place and the work they are doing. The grant recognizes Palmetto Place’s commitment to serving disadvantaged populations by helping them move towards self-sufficiency through their unique programs. “We’re proud of our Unaccompanied Youth program and the difference it makes for homeless or abandoned teens in the Midlands. With our help they are able to reach self-sufficiency and gain independence,” says Jill Lawson, Director of Client Services.

With this grant from the MAXIMUS Foundation Palmetto Place will provide food, housing, clothing and wraparound services for teens ages 15-21 in Richland and Lexington Counties. Teens participating in this program are able to set long-term goals for employment and education and learn the life skills necessary for independence.

“On behalf of the MAXIMUS Foundation, I am proud to provide this award to Palmetto Place,” said John Boyer, MAXIMUS Foundation Chairman. “Palmetto Place and its staff embody the values that the MAXIMUS Foundation strives to achieve through its grant making program – promoting personal growth and self-sufficiency through improved health, augmented child and family development and community development. It is an honor to present this grant to such a deserving organization, and I thank Palmetto Place for its commitment to enriching the lives of those it serves.”



About MAXIMUS Since 1975, MAXIMUS has operated under its founding mission of Helping Government Serve the People®, enabling citizens around the globe to successfully engage with their governments at all levels and across a variety of health and human services programs. MAXIMUS delivers innovative business process management and technology solutions that contribute to improved outcomes for citizens and higher levels of productivity, accuracy, accountability and efficiency of government sponsored programs. For more information, visit www.maximus.com.

About the MAXIMUS Foundation As the philanthropic arm of MAXIMUS, the Foundation extends the mission of the Company by identifying and awarding grants to partners with specialized expertise to deliver results within the same populations and communities served by the public programs the Company operates. The MAXIMUS Foundation is completely funded by MAXIMUS and its employees, and provides grants to local community organizations with programs and projects in the areas of child and youth development, health and community development.


December Needs

December is such a fun month! The kids have plans to go ice skating (if it cools off!), build gingerbread houses, decorate for Christmas, and make new holiday memories. It can also be a hard month emotionally for our kids. Some of them miss family and friends this time of year. Some of our younger kids don’t know if Santa will find them at Palmetto Place and some of the older kids realize they don’t have the same experiences as you and your family.  But we’re working to make sure the holidays are special and magical for each of our kids.

Thank you to everyone who is collecting items from our Holiday Wish List. Your donations will help keep the shelter stocked well beyond Christmas. There are a few needs that aren’t on that list. Can you help us collect these items?

For the Children’s Shelter: 

Winter coats and fleeces

Shaving cream


Hair brushes



Twin sized comforters

Twin sized mattress protectors

For the Teen House: 

Cleaning supplies (Broom/ mop/ mop bucket etc.)

Can opener

Heavy duty large serving spoons

Shower heads with a hose (We can use 1 more!)

Food storage containers

Large aluminum tin baking pans

Large mixing bowls

Large boiling pot




Using Your IRA as “A Charitable Vehicle”

In 2015,the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes (PATH) Act became law, and among the beneficiaries were charitable Americans age 70½ or older and their favorite charities. Now the IRA Charitable Rollover provision is permanent, allowing individuals who have reached age 70½ to donate up to $100,000 each year to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income.

Using IRA assets to make a gift during your lifetime, as opposed to giving via bequest in your will, enables you to experience the joy of making a major gift. Need ideas on where to give? The Community Foundation staff is just a phone call away at 803.978.7831 to help you learn how an IRA Charitable Rollover can help reduce your taxable income and fulfill your charitable goals.


This blog was written and shared by the Central Carolina Community Foundation.

Palmetto Place Reaches GuideStar Platinum

Columbia, SC – Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter earned the Platinum GuideStar Nonprofit Profile Seal of Transparency, the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. By sharing metrics that highlight changes Palmetto Place is making toward its mission, the organization is helping donors move beyond simplistic ways of nonprofit evaluation like overhead ratios.

We are excited to convey our organization’s results in a user-friendly and highly visual manner. By updating our GuideStar Nonprofit Profile to the Platinum level, we can now easily share a wealth of up-to-date organizational metrics with our supporters.

To reach the Platinum level, Palmetto Place added extensive information to its Nonprofit Profile on GuideStar: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, Palmetto Place has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate their programs.

“We encourage you to visit our profile on GuideStar to see what we’re all about,” added Grace Bennett, project coordinator.

Palmetto Place Children’s Shelter provides a safe and nurturing environment for abused and neglected children and homeless teens, offering them a broad range of services concentrating on personal healing and development. The shelter is open 24 hours each day of the year with medical and mental health care, crisis adjustment/transitional counseling, after-school tutoring and recreational and social activities in addition to food, clothing and shelter.


About GuideStar Nonprofit Profiles

The GuideStar database contains a profile for every tax-exempt nonprofit registered with the IRS. GuideStar encourages every nonprofit to claim and update its profile at no cost to the organization. Updating allows nonprofits to share a wealth of up-to-date information with the more than 7 million people who visit GuideStar to learn more about nonprofit organizations each year. Updating also allows nonprofits to share information with the more than 180 philanthropic websites and applications that are powered by GuideStar data. To reach a given participation level, organizations need to complete all required fields for that participation level. The GuideStar participation levels, acknowledged as symbols of transparency in the nonprofit sector, are displayed on all updated participants’ profiles in the GuideStar database.


Make Magic Happen on Giving Tuesday

Thank You!

A huge thank you to everyone who donated on Giving Tuesday 2016. Together we were able to raise $4,170 for children who have been abused or neglected and teens who face homelessness.

It’s Giving Tuesday!

We’re kicking off Giving Tuesday and you can help us start strong by making your donation now!

By supporting Palmetto Place, you give a child a safe place to stay and teens access to the help they need to escape homelessness. Your donation allows us to provide the necessary resources to move children and teens who have been abused, abandoned, or neglected, towards safety and success. Help us make magic happen, because every kid deserves a chance.

Not sure how much to give? Try these suggestions:
Give one kid a haircut: $25
Buy movie passes for a teen’s birthday: $50
Provide a warm coat this winter: $100
Buy food for the shelter for a week: $250
Sponsor school field trips this semester: $400


It’s that time of year again, #GivingTuesday is just around the corner!

Palmetto Place is excited to participate in this global day of giving for another year. Last year we were able to raise more than $2,000 for children who have been abused and neglected. We know that this year we can make magic happen for those kids again. Will you help us reach our goal of $2,500? 

So, how do you help?

First, RSVP to our Facebook event. This is where you’ll get all the information leading up to #GivingTuesday and updates on the day of the event! Next invite your friends to participate as well! The more followers we have on Nov. 29th the more money we can raise. Finally, on November 29th make a donation to Palmetto Place and be a part of the global #GivingTuesday movement.

What is Giving Tuesday?

#GivingTuesday connects diverse groups of individuals, communities and organizations around the world for one common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving. Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving. Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.

#GivingTuesday harnesses the potential of social media and the generosity of people around the world to bring about real change in their communities; it provides a platform for them to encourage the donation of time, resources, and talents to address local challenges. It also brings together the collective power of a unique blend of partners— nonprofits, civic organizations, businesses, and corporations, as well as families and individuals—to encourage and amplify small acts of kindness.

As a global movement, #GivingTuesday unites countries around the world by sharing our capacity to care for and empower one another.