Turning an old Freeport hospital building into a pregnancy cente - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Turning an old Freeport hospital building into a pregnancy center


Mold, lead and asbestos cover the walls of the old St. Francis Hospital.

The rundown building closed its doors in the 1960's. It was eventually donated to The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

"We cannot go inside the building because of all those physical hazardous it would do to us," says Sister Maria Chinweze Enujiofor.

The sisters considered selling it, but through prayer were led down a different path.

"The Lord has been leading us to help women who are pregnant, especially young mothers who find themselves in an unprepared stage of handling pregnancy," says Chinweze.

The Madonna Renewal Center will be a safe haven, a 12-24 month program that will offer hope and healing to any pregnant woman in need. It will provide soon to be moms the resources to becoming a confident parent.

"When they are in that situation of unplanned pregnancy, they are distraught and they don't know where to start. We want to give them another option," says Chinweze.

The five-story building will host classrooms, a cafeteria and rooms for up to 20 moms and their newborns to stay in. But the sisters can't offer these services until they are able to fix up the building.

"We are looking at approximately $230,000 because the EPA regulations in the abatement before we can get volunteers and professional services in there," says Roger Kampmeir the Madonna Renewal Center project leader.

The sisters hope to raise the funds with the help of the community. An anonymous donor gave the sisters a 1957 Chevy 4 door hardtop to be raffled off. The proceeds made will go towards the new center. The raffle will be held at noon on October 17, 2015 on the grounds of the Madonna Renewal Center. It's $100 per ticket and other cash prizes will be awarded.

To purchase a ticket, contact - The Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary at (815) 297-8287, Mary Julius at (815) 238-0695, Sue Gronner at (815) 541-1949 or Barkau and Sons in Freeport, IL at (815) 232-5017. To donate to the sisters effort log on to the Madonna Renewal Center website. There's also a list of fundraiser's on the website.

The sisters hope to open the center by August of 2016.

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