JEFFERSONVILLE, Ind. — Two Safe Haven Baby Boxes will soon be available to the public in southern Indiana - this time in Floyds Knobs and Jeffersonville.
The box in Floyds Knobs is set to open at the Lafayette Township Fire Protection District on Scottsville Road Monday. The community came together to raise money for the box, which will be the first one installed in Floyd County.
"This project was a great opportunity for our community and for us to be able to potentially give a baby a chance at life that they may not have had," said Lafayette Township Chief Jeremy Klein.
This box will be the 65th Safe Haven Baby Box installed in Indiana.
The 66th box in the state will be unveiled at Jeffersonville Fire Department Station 3 on Truckers Blvd. The box, funded by Eastern Heights Baptist Church and a private donor, is set to be unveiled on Tuesday, Aug. 17.
"While we hope this is a resource we never see used, it's comforting that Jeffersonville can provide an option for any woman in crisis who feels like she is in a helpless situation," Jeffersonville Mayor Mike Moore said.
RELATED: 'The best 23 minutes I've had as a firefighter': Healthy newborn surrendered to Safe Haven baby box
The boxes, which can be installed at fire stations and hospitals, allow the mothers of newborns to anonymously surrender a child within 30 days. When a baby is surrendered, first responders are immediately alerted. The box is locked from the outside and temperature-controlled so the infant stays safe and comfortable until help arrives.
Monica Kelsey launched the nonprofit Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Inc. in 2015, inspired by her own story. Kelsey was abandoned as an infant and has since committed her life to helping other children like her. Since the launch of the organization, more than 75 baby boxes have been installed nationwide.
According to the nonprofit, 12 babies have been surrendered at baby boxes since 2016, and half of those were saved in 2020.
"We are happy to have walked alongside 100 mothers who have safely surrendered their child to a firefighter or hospital personal after seeking help through the Safe Haven Baby Box National Hotline," Monica Kelsey said.
The Safe Haven National 24-hour hotline, which offers counseling services to parents unable to care for their newborn child, is1-866-99BABY1.
Baby boxes are also located in Clarksville, Seymour, North Vernon and Madison, Indiana. The first Safe Haven Baby Box in Kentucky was opened in Okolona earlier this year. A full list of locations is available online.
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