WHAT: Safe Haven Baby Box Unveiling & Blessing at Boonville Fire Station in Boonville, INWHEN: February 26th, 2021 at 10:30 am WHERE: Boonville Fire Station; 410 S. 4th Street Boonville, Indiana 47601 SPEAKERS INCLUDED: Monica Kelsey, Founder/CEO Safe Haven Baby Boxes Charles R. Wyatt, Mayor, City of Boonville Fire Chief Steven Byers, Boonville Fire Department Mary Ellen Van Dyke, Executive Director of Right to Life of Southwest Indiana Fr. Jack Durchholz, Pastor, St. Clement Catholic Parish
BOONVILLE, INDIANA (February 26, 2021) – The 59th Safe Haven Baby Box in the nation will go live at the Boonville Fire Station, located at 410 S. 4th Street Boonville, Indiana 47601. The box will be made available to the public on February 26th after the unveiling event at 10:30 am. This is the 53rd Safe Haven Baby Box in Indiana. Click here for Safe Haven Baby Box locations.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes Inc. is a non-profit founded by firefighter/medic Monica Kelsey. Kelsey was abandoned as an infant and is committed to ending illegal infant abandonment in the country. The Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization offers a Safe Haven National Crisis Hotline (1-866-99BABY1) and is available 24/7/365. It offers counseling services to a parent who is unable or unwilling to care for their newborn. Safe Haven education is at the heart of its mission to raise awareness of the law in communities across America.
“This Safe Haven Baby Box provides an anonymous option to mothers-in-crisis who may feel they have no other choice and who have fear of the face-to-face surrender. We are committed to providing resources to all parents who may need assistance and encourage them to contact us for help,” says Kelsey.
The Safe Haven Baby Box itself is a large part of this mission. This box allows a mother to surrender her newborn infant in less than 30 days with 100% anonymity. The Baby Box has many security features, such as heating and cooling components and a sophisticated alarm system. A gentle light illuminates the hospital-grade bassinet covered in blankets made by hand by our loving supporters. The infant is placed inside the box for less than 4 minutes, all while the first responders rush to respond to the silent alarm to retrieve the precious newborn. There is also a care bag that provides resources to the mother for medical assistance and other useful information.
The installation of this Baby Box was made possible by a generous donation from Right to Life of Southwest Indiana. “Right to Life of Southwest Indiana is pleased to partner with the Boonville Fire Department and the Safe Haven Baby Box organization to provide a life-saving alternative to abandonment,” said Mary Ellen Van Dyke, executive director of Right to Life of Southwest Indiana. “United in the mission of protecting life, we know any surrendered baby will be administered the best of care right here in Boonville.”
“As a department that is committed to ensuring the safety of everyone in our community, the Safe Haven Baby Box is another tool that allows us to help ensure the safety of our most vulnerable population and will ultimately save lives.” says Steven Byers, Fire Chief, Boonville Fire Department.
Ten infants have been placed in a Baby Box in the last three years; Nationwide, 96 surrenders have resulted from calling the Safe Haven Baby Boxes National hotline. Six of the ten Baby Box surrenders took place in 2020 alone. Safe Haven Baby Boxes are currently available in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, and Florida.