Esperanza Gala: DACA Scholarship Initative

The University of South Carolina Colony of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Incorporated is excited about our 1st Annual fundraising event, Esperanza Gala and Art Auction. In order for this event to be successful, we are donating 100% of the proceeds raised from ticket sales and donations towards the cause from supporters in our community. The positive response will allow us to create a DACA Scholarship Fund aiding low-income applicants.

DACA, or Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is an American immigration policy that provides temporary relief from deportation and a renewable 2-year work permit for qualified young adults who were brought to the U.S. illegally as children. If approved, DACA-mented youth can receive a Social Security Number, a Driver’s License, eligibility for higher education, apply for jobs,

We firmly believe that communities become great and businesses thrive where opportunity is deemed important, because the lives of its citizens are enriched. The USC Colony of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Incorporated seeks to provide such enrichment to the community by promoting educational, cultural, civic, and economic opportunities for Undocumented youth through this initiative. We believe, through this financial scholarship we can cultivate the skills and talents of high school students to become leaders for the betterment of their communities.


Follow these links to buy tickets and donate to our gofundme page.


Making Music Matter

Join us at the First Annual Making Music Matter Benefit Concert!
Music Flyer

  Meet us at Hemingway’s Music Pub for this free event on Sunday, April 17th from 2-10 PM. Stop in for a bit or stay all evening. There are multiples ways you can donate to the shelter: have a drink, order a meal, tip the band, or bid in the silent auction! Part of the day’s restaurant/bar sales will go to the shelter, all band tips will be donated, and we are excited to display items for auction from many local business!

Join us for a Benefit Concert featuring: The BoJack Dawson Band Adam Whitehead Derrick Dorsey Prettier Than Matt The Mudcoots

For more information and updates check out the Facebook event! If you have questions, email Lindsey Moulder.

Construction Updates

Dear Palmetto Place Friends & Family: We have the pleasure of seeing construction and renovation progress on a daily basis. We want to share as much as possible with all of you! Stay tuned for weekly updates.

~ Erin

Thursday, September 8

We moved in last week and the elementary and middle school kids are so happy! There are two little boys who lived there at the beginning of the year and were very excited to be back in their old rooms. One of our girls lived with us a couple of years ago and came back to live with us at our other location a few months ago. She knew exactly where she was at the renovated house last week and did cartwheels in her old room. The kids are proud of their home and love showing it off to everyone who comes to visit!

About the new house – the space itself is not only beautiful but functional. The open kitchen leading to the spacious dining room and the living room – it’s a dream come true. The light is wonderful. The wide hallways give us room for a chair and a desk – quiet space and work space. The colors of the house are so warm and inviting.

One of my favorite things, though, is the detail. The stairs – I can’t find the words to tell you how beautiful those stairs are. The woodwork – truly amazing. Everyone has commented on the woodwork and the thought that went into recreating the original moldings from 1886. The French doors between the living and dining rooms – well, in the words of one houseparent, “They put the French doors back in!” Nope, I had no idea there were French doors in that house years ago.

We’ve already grown in terms of numbers of kids and there are many more kids to come. It’s so nice to say “yes, we can take this child into our home,” instead of “no, we’re full.”

Thank you for your support and all you continue to do for our kids. Thank you for caring about them and believing in our vision and ability to care for kids, to heal them and give them a better life. This is truly a special time for Palmetto Place. If you haven’t given yet and would like to make a contribution to #SavingMoreChildren, please click here.

Monday, June 6

This week the floors and ceilings are getting some attention. We need to make sure the original house is level with the new addition and get it ready to install flooring. They’re also insulating the ceilings and getting ready to hang drywall again. We also added the sprinkler system, which means we got a new fire hydrant in front of the house.



Monday, May 30

Siding has arrived!! Doesn’t it make the house look good?

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Tuesday, May 17

The house is really starting to look like a house again and not a construction zone! Drywall was delivered and is being hung as I type! With the drywall up we can really see how the rooms are taking their shape and I can already picture our kids in that space.

20160517_095717 20160517_095644 20160517_095631

Wednesday, May 4

We always knew the renovated would include a handicap ramp, but look at that deck, fire escape and ramp! We can wait to have cook outs on that deck! Shingles were delivered this week as well and we’ll have a new roof before long!


Tuesday, April 26

We’ve got a lot of really great natural light in the house now and it makes the whole project seem so much bigger! Some really beautiful windows have gone in this week and it really pulls things together! The plumber and electrician are still working on their projects, and foam insulation was sprayed in the attic!


Monday, April 18

The renovation project at the shelter is moving right along! Last week the crew was able to finish framing the interior walls, plywood is up on the exterior, and the electrician and plumber came out to see whats going on!


Thursday, April 7

Today was a really big day! The foundation is set, they raised the original portion of the house to meet it, and have started framing interior walls! You can see where the new rooms will be and the layout! It seems even larger in person. We’re looking at the new dinning room, kitchen, some bedrooms and bathrooms.


Here we are looking into one of the original rooms, this was the little girls room before. After renovations it will be a great room for homework, silent reading, group therapy and more!


Tuesday, March 29

The yard is mostly clean and the back portion of the house is gone. The construction crew is working on getting the foundation poured and starting the re-build process. The next couple of weeks will show a lot of progress, so stay tuned for more!


Tuesday, March 22

Official Demolition Day! The back of the house – the 1970s portion – has come down! The part we’ve torn down housed the kitchen, dining room, laundry room, a bedroom and the hallway bathroom. It will take another day or two to clean up the backyard and then we start the rebuilding. I have to admit, it was great fun to watch the Hood Construction team tear down! But it will be much more fun to see the new house come together.

Demolition DAy

Tuesday, March 15

The crew is hard at work and it looks like we won’t be wearing heels to the office anytime soon.


Thursday, March 10

We could barely believe it, when we got back to Campus A this afternoon the yellow play house was gone! We knew it was going to be one of the first things to go, but not having it here makes the yard look bare. The crew has taken down some of the trees in the yard too to make room for their equipment.20160310_112006

Wednesday, March 9

Our demolition party tonight has kicked off construction! Board members, former residents, and top donors had their chance to tear away a piece of Palmetto Place. To learn more about the demolition party check out these stories from WACH, WIS, and ColaDaily! 

coker demoCapture

Monday, March 7

A last walk through of Palmetto Place and now the house is sealed off for asbestos abatement. It was very hard to leave this morning!

asbestos sign



Saturday, March 5

Jill, Edward Conroy and I spent the morning doing a little demolition of our own. Edward took down the kitchen cabinets that were donated and installed a couple of years ago. We’ll install them at our other location now. And then the three of us pried the fireplace covers off to see what we could find – beautiful iron pieces. We also pulled plywood off the stairs and discovered spindles! We’re hoping the front staircase can be preserved and the spindles can stay as is when the house is done. Very fun finds!

door hardware fireplace 2 fireplace message from resident staircase


Tuesday, March 1

Things are already happening at Palmetto Place. This morning, the playground floor has been removed and stacked on the side of the yard. I’m not sure I was ready for this!

Monday, Feb. 29

The Big Move is here! Two Men & A Truck was Six Men & Three Trucks today. A very long day but everything is moved to our new place and the kids are happy and settled. One teenager told me tonight that she’d never had coordinated bedding before. I take so many things for granted. Bedding is one of them. Very grateful to Mayor Steve for donating beautiful brand new bedding for all of our kids.

Wednesday, Feb. 24

The Hood Construction team came by today to take pictures all through the house. We have beautiful woodwork – incredible staircase, wide baseboards, wonderful picture moulding and a few transoms. Hood Construction is cataloging all of this so it can be recreated in case any of the woodwork has to be removed during asbestos abatement. Walking through the house, focused only on the wood reminds me of just how beautiful this house is.

Palmetto Place is Family

Monday evenings are my favorite time during the work week because all of our teens pile into my office (and eat all of my candy) to tell me about their weekend and funny stories – along with the dozens of needs they each have for the week.

Last Monday, as they were telling me about bank accounts, W-2s, job interviews, extra credit stuff, etc., one of them stopped and said “Ms. Jill, you know we all have so many needs as juniors and seniors, but I need for you to put one thing at the top of your list for tomorrow. Hannah, (a new 9th grade resident who is very quiet, humble, and sweet, who was in the house doing her homework) needs a new pair of shoes. She’ll never tell you because she’s so quiet, but I think she would like a new pair that are a little more girly than the pair she has. I can find out what size she wears for you.”

Although I promised I’d put it at the top of my list, that wasn’t enough. They made me show them where I moved her need to the top of my to-do list sticky note. Then I tried to sing “We’re all in this together” from High School Musical, but they weren’t having it.

This is why I love my job. Because, even though I have 9 high schoolers that drive me absolutely insane all week, they support and love each other in a way that can never be described. Even though they’ll never admit it, we’re all family at Palmetto Place.

Written by Jill Lawson
Director of Case Management

Palmetto Place – Before We Expand

We hope you have been following our Save More Children campaign and our path towards expansion. Big things are happening everyday and we wanted to share some big news!

Our usually warm and inviting home has been transformed into a maze of boxes and bags all labeled with names and rooms. The road to this point has been long and bumpy, but now we can see our destination on the horizon. Next week we’ll pack all the boxes and bags into the truck and move our whole shelter across town.

For nearly 40 years we’ve been a home to abused, neglected and homeless children and teens. In that time we’ve helped more than 7,000 children and teens find a safe, loving home. At Palmetto Place, we provide more than just shelter; it’s where children learned to ride a bike and teens learned to drive,  it’s where friends became family and where children grew into adults. For this reason it’s a bittersweet goodbye to the shelter we know, and brave hello to the next step. Before we move forward we want to preserve them memory of Palmetto Place and the children who have made it a home.


Our dream is that one day every child will feel safe and loved. Thanks to you and your support, we are one step closer to making our dream a reality. To support our mission you can make a donation today. Stay tuned, as we will be sharing more updates on our expansion soon.

Together we can Save More Children. 

Opening the Doors to Campus B

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016

Hi, folks! It’s been a long road but we’ve taken a major step forward this month!

Campus B is now ours and we’re prepping for the big move.

I’m sure you all know the fun of moving your own house. Now imagine moving with 20 kids! I’m incredibly grateful to be surrounded by an amazing team of staff who are excited about the move and ready to pack.

We have a few repairs to make and inspections to complete before we move in but we’re so thrilled to walk through our new space. It already feels like home! Of course we’ll be just as excited when the renovations at Palmetto Place Campus A are completed later this year and we can move back to our “real” house.

We’re moving the week of Feb. 22 and I think we have a good solid plan. The electricity and water are on. The front planting beds have been mulched. The front of the house looks clean and inviting. We’ve made some of the girls’ beds and some of the boys’ beds.

Beds 2  Beds

Tonight our board and houseparents and kids will come to see their new space at Campus B. The kids will get to see their new rooms. I woke up this morning ready to open the blinds, turn on all the lights and welcome everyone to this house! We cannot wait to show off our space to these special people – our board members who have vision for Palmetto Place’s future and believe in our kids so deeply; our houseparents who have been so patient and waited for many months for this move; and our kids who are the heart and soul of what we do.

We were worried about the transition from one house to another – would it be difficult for kids from hard places to pick up and move again? But no, they’ve seen the plans for the new Campus A; they’ve felt the sample boards with the tile and flooring for Campus A; they’ve seen the paint colors. And they love it all – every piece of it! The kids have the moving date memorized. They all want to know when Campus A will be done and they can move back.

How can you help and be a part of this adventure?

Stay tuned for more – our groundbreaking is coming soon! We hope to share as much as possible along the journey!


A New Year’s Resolution

One of our favorite activities each January is the kids’ New Year’s Resolutions! We thought you’d enjoy seeing what’s on their minds for 2016.

Our youngest, a 4-year-old, wants to eat more Chinese food and to go to school. This week we were able to enroll her in 4K. A 7-year-old boy wants a pet bird and to go to Disney. An 8-year-old wants to be a movie star, visit Paris and be a cheerleader for the Dallas “Cow Boys!” She’d also like to learn to enjoy math and get better grades in school, both of which are goals we are working towards. A 9-year-old boy wants to be adventurous and eat red pepper on his pizza, learn how to do a back flip and spin on his head, travel and learn the Electric Slide (our Case Manager has promised to teach him!)

All of the residents at Palmetto Place have goals for 2016. Stay tuned to hear what our teens are thinking about this year!

A new year, a new Palmetto Place

Update, Feb. 11, 2016:

As we hope you all know, Palmetto Place has big plans for expansion. For too many months, we’ve had to turn away between 15 and 20 children in need. We just don’t have the space. In 2015 we launched our capital campaign, Saving More Children, in an effort to add more beds to our current shelter.

You may think tragic stories don’t happen here in the Midlands, but they do. When police entered Anthony and Hailey’s house, they were huddled together in a corner. They were surrounded by trash and drug paraphernalia – a parent was no where to be found. At Palmetto Place, Anthony and Hailey found a safe, nurturing home filled with love. Counseling helped them cope, and mentors helped them catch up in school and succeed.

Last fall we were pleased to announce we reached our $1 million campaign goal! We had no idea one of the largest challenges to this campaign would be finding a location to house our children and teens while the shelter is under renovation. After months of searching, we’ve finally found a location! We’ll be moving soon and construction will begin shortly after that.

The roots at Palmetto Place run deep. Since we opened our doors in 1977, more than 7,000 children and teens have called it home. This is where they got their first job or learned to drive. It’s where they made the honor roll and celebrated with ice cream. It’s where they experienced their first heartbreaks and cried on the shoulders of our staff. Their lives changed here. Now it’s time to welcome even more kids into our home. It’s time for us to grow. 

We wouldn’t be here today without our donors who continue to support our kids. Will you to join them? Will you say, “I’m here to help” to the most vulnerable children living right here in the Midlands? You can make a difference in a child’s life by donating today!

We’re excited to be working with The Winkler Group, Lambert Architecture, Hood Construction and GMK Associates on this capital campaign, expansion and renovation. We’ll be sharing more details soon so be sure to check this page plus Facebook and Twitter. We encourage you to follow our progress on social media and share our wonderful news with family, friends, and neighbors.




Dear Santa…

All of our kids wrote their letters to Santa earlier this month and, as you can probably imagine, Santa received a wide range of requests. Our little boys asked for action figures, toy airplanes and footballs, our teen girls want hair supplies, make up and jewelry. One wanted help paying for her dream prom dress. A 14-year-old wrote, “I don’t want much, but if you send me my family I will be the proudest (happiest), and that will be a Christmas Miracle.”

For many, that simple Christmas wish of family is all they really want.

This year we were able to watch one girl’s Christmas miracle come true. I’m not sure if Santa has anything to do with it, but I can’t deny there is magic in the air. The day she came in from school and we were able to tell her she was going home, something special happened. You could see it in her face. At 14, she’s a believer. Before she left she whispered to me, “Santa does exist. I asked him to go home and now I am.”

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of watching a child get their wish. As our many Palmetto Place Santas and elves collect gifts for our kids and our office turns into Santa’s Workshop once again, I notice items that were specifically asked for and I can’t help but smile knowing on Christmas morning more wishes will come true.

Many of the residents at Palmetto Place may not have happy memories of Christmas morning. For some, Santa has not visited every year. One teen didn’t want to write a letter to Santa because he “didn’t want to be disappointed again.” We’re making sure that this year Santa finds him on Christmas morning.

There are many Christmas traditions we love showing our children and teens. Like baking and decorating Christmas cookies, Christmas parties, making Christmas cards and leaving stockings out to be filled by Santa. Community service projects are also part of the Christmas tradition at Palmetto Place. The kids made beautiful cards for the veterans at Dorn VA and they’ll be delivering candy canes and hugs to some special folks next week. For some these are familiar traditions, for others the idea of decorating cookies is brand new.

With less than two weeks until Christmas, we have two open beds. Without a doubt they will be full on Christmas morning. It seems like every year we take in a child just days before Christmas. In addition to getting that child settled in, we also have emergency Santas on standby to make sure these kids have something special to open on Christmas Day. You can help us make Christmas special for each child at Palmetto Place, even the ones who haven’t arrived yet, by making a donation now. This year, every child will have fond memories of Christmas at Palmetto Place and we couldn’t do that without you and the support of the community.

By Grace Bennett, Project Coordinator



Palmetto Place Believes in Making a Change on #GivingTuesday


We have a day for giving thanks. We have two for getting deals. Now, we have #GivingTuesday, a global day dedicated to giving back. On Tuesday, December 1, 2015, charities, families, businesses, community centers, and students around the world will come together for one common purpose: to celebrate generosity and to give.

Palmetto Place would like to invite you to participate in our very own #GivingTuesday campaign Palmetto Place Believes. 

Here at the shelter we do many things. Our mission is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for abused and neglected children and unaccompanied teens. We offer a broad range of services concentrating on personal healing and development. The shelter is open 24 hours each day of the year and provides medical and mental health care, crisis adjustment/transitional counseling, after-school tutoring and recreational and social activities in addition to food, clothing and shelter.

But, the things that we believe in are basic: no child should be forgotten or hungry, every child should feel love. Join us on social media Tuesday December 1st, 2015 and look for #PalmettoPlaceBelieves to join the conversation, find out what weighs on our hearts and make a difference in your community.