AIken, SC (WJBF)- A non profit organization in Aiken is expanding thanks to a huge surprise donation.

Children’s Place has been raising money for seven years for a new larger building– something the organization desperately needs.

Children’s Place is a child and family development center that focuses on behavioral issues and developmental delays in kids ages 2 to 5.

Recently, Rob and Pam Johnston of Aiken gifted them with a check for $1.5 million towards the new building. Children’s Place said they were shocked and overjoyed by the Johnston’s generosity.

Courtesy Children’s Place

“A million and a half was certainly not even expected. And the tears began to flow. you can’t imagine the joy that it felt like to know that the building was going to happen,” said Peggy For, Executive Director at Children’s Place.

The new $5.5 million building will be located at Willow Run and Beaufort Avenue. It will triple the amount of space they have right now.

Artist rendering of new building Courtesy Children’s Place

“We had so many programs because we were doing such a good job at program work, ad working with children and families, we had the blessing of being offered other programs. And so we continued to grow, providing programs until there was no space at our home,” Ford explained.

Children’s Place has already raised $3 million, but they still need $2.5 million to build and furnish the new building.

The organization said that like the Little Engine that Could, after 7 years of saying “We think we can,” now they are saying “We knew we could.”

If you are interested in making a donation to the capital campaign then just CLICK HERE.

Photojournalist: Reggie Mckie.