COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The staff at Palmetto Place Children's Shelter has tried to make this summer as fun and as normal as possible.
From the zoo to the beach and more, there were a lot of firsts for the children including their first day of school. All of these moments were made possible by a community that recognized the need.
"If you think about the fact, if we're turning down 15 kids a month and you multiply that by 12 months then it starts to be a very large number of kids who are in need of Palmetto Place," Hall said.
Currently, 15 children call Palmetto Place home. The Columbia home is 100 years old and has opened its doors to 7,000 kids since 1977. Most of those children stay an average of three to four months.
"That's really the reason we decided to stay in this location," said Hall. "We still have kids who come to see the home and to see the house parents that they've known for so many years and that's support for them and we couldn't walk away from it."
In October, Palmetto place will transform. According to Hall, the shelter will add bedrooms, bathrooms, a much bigger kitchen and dining room, and more open space for the children.
"There are many kids who are couch hopping," said Hall. "So, they spend a night at a family member's house, the next night they're at a friend's house, the next night it's another friend's house. And sometimes those are the kids who could potentially live at Palmetto Place but we don't have the space."
The shelter will grow from 70 to 90 children a year, up to 130 children.
Construction will start as soon as the staff can find a temporary place for the children. The project, which costs just over $1 million, should be done by next summer.
Although the shelter is close to their fund raising goal, they could still use your help. If you'd like to donate, click here.