MARTINSVILLE, INDIANA: The City of Martinsville and the Martinsville Fire Department announced plans to raise funds for the installation of a Safe Haven Baby Box. The City initiated contact with the Safe Haven Baby Boxes organization in early 2020 after learning more about the program with the announcement of the installation of a baby box in Mooresville, IN.
A Safe Haven Baby Box provides a legal and safe surrender option for a parent who is unable to care for their healthy newborn who is 30 days old or younger. Indiana is one of five states whose Safe Haven law offers this completely anonymous option aiming to eliminate infant abandonment. Click here for Safe Haven Baby Box locations. Eight infants have been surrendered in a Safe Haven Baby Box, four of those being in 2020. There have been no deceased abandoned infants in the State of Indiana since the first box was installed in April 2016.
The Baby Box has a heating and cooling feature and is equipped with an alarm system that notifies 9-1-1 once an infant has been placed in the medical bassinet. The newborn is retrieved from the inside of the building within minutes of the alarm notification.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes is a non-profit organization founded by firefighter/medic Monica Kelsey. Kelsey, herself, was abandoned as an infant and is committed to installing more Safe Haven Baby Boxes and raising awareness of the safe haven law in communities across America. The Safe Haven Baby Boxes’ national 24-hour hotline offers counseling services to a parent who might be considering the surrender of their newborn. Nationwide, eighty-one surrenders have resulted from calling the Safe Haven Baby Boxes National 24-hour hotline.
A Safe Haven Baby Box costs roughly $15,000 with the installation. A fund dedicated to this project has been established at the Community Foundation of Morgan County. Anyone wishing to donate should make their check payable to CFMC and reference Martinsville Safe Haven Baby Box Fund in the memo line. Checks may be mailed to the CFMC at 59 North Main St., Martinsville, IN 46151, or 0nline contributions may be made by going to CFMConline.org.
If you are a parent in crisis and considering abandoning or surrendering your baby, please call the Safe Haven Baby Boxes’ national 24-hour hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.
For more information about Safe Haven Baby Boxes, please visit their website at www.SHBB.org or by calling (888)742-2133.
For more information regarding the installation of or the fundraising and contribution efforts for the Martinsville Safe Haven Baby Box, please contact Bethaney Latham at (317)408-0455 or Chief Kevin Greene at (765)342-2343.