Evansville installs two Safe Haven Baby Boxes

Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 10:13 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Two baby boxes were installed at Evansville Fire Stations, and they are set to open on Thursday, October 28.

Monica Kelsey started Safe Haven Baby Boxes in 2016 for a very personal reason.

“I was abandoned as an infant back in 1973,” Kelsey said. “So starting an organization for women and children, literally, I think was my purpose.”

Since its creation, they’ve opened 85 boxes across the country, with over 60 of those right here in Indiana.

“The two to three babies that we were finding dead in our state (before the creation of baby boxes), we’re now finding them in our boxes,” Kelsey explained. “We’re averaging three babies per year in our box.”

The Evansville boxes were installed at Evansville Fire Department Station 3 on North Fourth Avenue, and Station 16 on Washington Avenue.

When a box is opened, 911 is called.

The box locks, and in under three minutes, the child receives medical care, while the mother remains anonymous.

“These boxes are a last resort option,” Kelsey said. “When I started this organization, I just wanted to make sure that no baby died in a dumpster.”

She said before reaching the point of using the box, they have a hotline and workers ready to help the mother work through what’s bothering her.

First, they see if parenting is still possible. If not, they look for adoption options, then try to get them to leave the child with firefighters face to face so they can receive medical attention.

The box is there if the mother feels that’s best.

“We advocate for (the mothers) at every chance we can,” Kelsey said. “We want to make sure they’re comfortable, and they’re at peace with the decision they’re making.”

Expectant or new mothers can call Safe Haven Baby Boxes at (888)-742-2133 or 1-866-99BABY1.

Copyright 2021 WFIE. All rights reserved.