Evansville Woman Collecting Donations for City’s First Safe Haven Baby Box
It's a sad fact of life, but a fact nonetheless; people get pregnant who don't want to get pregnant, and for whatever reason decide they don't want, or can't handle, the responsibility of being a parent. Some will give the baby up for adoption, while others will decide to abandon the child altogether in some fashion. To my knowledge, and I'm completely assuming here, there are no options in the Tri-State for dropping off a baby other than a hospital facility, or possibly a church. But, one Evansville woman is hoping to change that by raising money to have a Safe Haven Baby Box installed somewhere in Evansville.
The 501(c)(3) non-profit was started when its founder, Monica Kelsey, discovered "she was abandoned as an infant and after seeing a 'baby box' in operation at a church in Cape Town, South Africa." She brought the concept back home, and the first Baby Box was installed at Woodburn City Fire Department in Woodburn, Indiana in 2016. Since then 31 Safe Haven Baby Boxes have been installed, 21 of which are located in Indiana (the others can be found in Ohio, Arkansas, and Arizona). Of those 21, the closet one to Evansville is at the Mt. Vernon Fire Department. Jen Savage wants to change that.
Jen recently started a fundraiser on Facebook to raise the $10,000 needed to make the box happen. She says Evansville has been on Safe Haven's list of potential locations for sometime, however the money just hasn't been there to make it happen. The $10,000 will not only cover the box's installation, but also "the marketing, alarm system contract, and training that is also involved."
I asked Jen for her motivation behind starting the fundraiser, and she said,
Honestly the horrific abuse and death of an 3 mo old baby last month really rocked me to the core. I couldn't help but think "how could we have prevented this"....shortly thereafter was news story about a baby being surrendered at the Safe Haven Box in Seymour, IN. That got my gears turning as to why we don't have one here, being that we are the third largest city in the state. An other driver for me is seeing the heartache from friends and family that cannot have children. This cause seems like a win-win-win solution for mom, baby, and families wanting/willing to raise a child a mother realized she couldn't care for. A few FB posts and the idea was born.
If you'd like to contribute, visit the fundraiser on Facebook to make a donation.
To learn more about Safe Haven Baby Boxes, visit their website.