Indiana leads the nation in the number of Safe Haven Baby Boxes installed at fire stations and hospitals across the state. Of the 31 total, 21 of those are in Indiana. Both those numbers will soon raise by two with the announcement Wednesday afternoon that Right to Life of Southwestern Indiana and the City of Evansville have entered into a partnership to bring the boxes to the City.

For now, the closest box available is at the Mt. Vernon fire station. The boxes are intended to provide parents of unwanted newborns the opportunity to give those babies up safely, no questions asked. The boxes are climate controlled, and equipped with sensors that trip an alarm when a baby is placed inside so first responders or medical personnel can get the child quickly. The PSA video above from the Safe Haven Baby Boxes YouTube channel shows exactly how the boxes are designed to work.

While the exact locations of the Evansville boxes has yet to be determined, the cost of the boxes and installation will be covered by Right to Life through the agreement with the City. As we shared last week, Jen Savage of Evansville also created a fundraiser on Facebook to raise money for a single box. According to an e-mail exchange we had with Sabrina Newton, Marketing and Media Coordinator for Right to Life, neither party was aware the other was actively raising funds for boxes, and that they applaud Savage's fundraising efforts. Newton went on to say, those funds will be used for "billboards to advertise" the boxes once they've been installed. A statement backed up by Safe Haven on their Facebook page that reads:

Safe Haven Baby Boxes (SHBB) would like to thank all Evansville community members for their overwhelming support of the Safe Haven Baby Boxes program! We are especially grateful for the generous donors and their donations to the Right to Life of Southwest Indiana, who recognized this organization as a leader within the community. A special thanks to Mary-Ellen VanDyke for initiating the process with city leaders and for her work over the past year to secure funding from donors for TWO Safe Haven Baby Boxes in Evansville.

We would also like to thank Jennifer Savage, with her support of the Safe Haven Baby Boxes program and with our primary mission - to raise awareness of the Safe Haven law. Funds raised from this Facebook campaign will be used for the SHBB program areas that go “beyond the baby box” and focus on grassroot efforts of raising awareness in the community with education, literature, billboards, and other projects that support the SHBB in Evansville.

SHBB looks forward to working with the City of Evansville to implement our program efforts and to ultimately save infants from abandonment. Stay tuned for the announcement of the unveiling of our billboards in Evansville and the blessing events for each Safe Haven Baby Box. We look forward to seeing everyone there!

If you'd like to make a donation to help cover the cost of the boxes' installation , you can do so through the Right to Life of Southwestern Indiana website. Jen is also continuing to raise funds for the "grassroots efforts" noted in Safe Haven's statement above. Visit her fundraiser on Facebook if you'd like to contribute.

[Source: 14 News / Right to Life of Southwestern Indiana]

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