Community Builder: Midlands woman leads campaign to help abused and neglected kids

Community Builder: Midlands woman leads campaign to help abused and neglected kids

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - One Midlands woman uses all her free time to help make sure local children who are abused and neglected have somewhere to go.

Marie Dieckmann has been interviewed on our air before in her position as board president at Palmetto Place Children's Shelter.

"She has endless energy and she's always ready to take on something new," Erin Hall, Executive Director of the children's shelter, said. "And her vision -- every good board president has vision."

Dieckmann has been president of the board for the last year and a half. She's been volunteering with the non-profit since 2009 through her work with the Junior Women's Club of Columbia.

"She's always interested in where are we going, what's it going to look like five years from now. As a director, it's exciting to have that partner," added Hall.

Under Dieckmann's leadership, the safe haven for kids has undergone a $1 million capital campaign to help them expand from serving 20 children at a time to eventually serving up to 60 in two separate locations. But she doesn't want any credit.

"The spotlight belongs on Erin, and Jill, and Grace and the house parents that are here day-to-day, caring and providing for these children and making these dreams come true," Dieckmann said.

But in an effort to say thanks for the dream work Dieckmann does in her free time every day, her fellow board members nominated her as a Community Builder. Her family got to be there as WIS and Matt Mungo from Mungo Homes surprised Marie with the news.

"The huge heart she has, the passion that drives her, not just helping out here at the Palmetto Place Children's Shelter, but the community, the church, her family," Dieckmann's husband, Phillip Dieckmann, said. "She's a selfless person, really always putting other people first. I'm just really happy that she's getting a little bit of credit."

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