Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House Unveils Major Expansion (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson - 21Alive

September 17, 2013 Updated Sep 17, 2013 at 6:10 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind,. (21Alive) - Their mission is to help families during one of their toughest times. Now, they have more space to help more people.

Tuesday Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House unveiled a 2,700 square foot expansion at its facility on Lutheran Hospital's main campus. They've added four rooms for families, more office space, two family rooms, a small workout room and a fully remodeled kitchen.

"They are scared to death, and what we can do, and what we can give them is a hug and know that they have a place to stay while their child is in the hospital," said Cindy Atkinson, Exec. Dir. Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House.

"It just gives you a sense of a lot of pride and humility because we're going to be able to help even more families than what we have been in the past," said Tom Niezer, Pres. Mad Anthonys Children's Hope House Board of Directors.

When this expansion was simply a plan on paper the owner of Hotel Fitness pledged $300,000 toward the expansion. The Hope House would get the money if they could match the funds. They raised the money, and that $600,000 helped kick start the project.

"To have one individual make that kind of pledge and that kind of support is humbling. It's just terrific," said Niezer.

Now the entire expansion is paid for, and moving forward the Hope House is left only to cover operating costs.

"It allows us to focus solely on our mission, and that's helping the families that stay here. And when we can do that, and only do that, is when good things happen," said Niezer.

Atkinson says need continues to rise for their services. She says Fort Wayne is becoming an area where more families are being referred to for pediatric care.

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