Offering a New Chance at Life


Brandon Mudd

A Safe Haven Baby Box sits on the wall of the Fire Department. Wed. May 20 this box was installed. “It will give many mothers in need other options,” Jerry Mudd said.

Brandon Mudd, Staff Writer

One action can make a huge difference.

A baby box was just installed at the Mount Washington Fire Department giving babies who might’ve been abandoned an opportunity to have a life.

The organization, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, has installed these boxes at many locations throughout the United States. The Lions Club reached out to this organization and funded the installment at the fire department.

The first Safe Haven Baby box was installed in 2016. “Since the first box was installed seventeen babies have been surrendered,” Lions Club member Jerry Mudd said. Mudd was the one who proposed the idea of installing one of these boxes to the Lions Club. “This is just another great resource donated and funded by the Lions Club of Mount Washington,” Fire Chief Michael Dooley said. The Lions Club offers a plethora of resources to the community such as their frequent fish fries that funded this project.

The organization’s founder is Monica Kelsey. “She said that whenever she was a baby she was abandoned at a box after her mother had been raped,” Mudd said. Whenever Kelsey learned that she had been abandoned in a baby box it really kick started her drive for change. Kelsey is an active member of the Pro-Life movement and backs up her advocacy with creating other options for potential mothers in need through these baby boxes.

These baby boxes have been thoroughly tested and ensure the safety of the baby. “Our boxes are entirely climate controlled through heating and cooling,” Kelsey said. The safety of the baby is a priority of the organization.

These boxes have a silent alarm on them that guarantee the babies will be attended to quickly. “To ensure the mother’s identity is kept secret, our boxes let off a silent alarm that gives the mother plenty of time to leave before the box alerts the authorities that a baby has been abandoned,” Kelsey said. It is important to Safe Haven that the identity of the mother be concealed to ensure that more mothers feel comfortable surrendering their babies.

One of Kelsey’s goals is to educate the public about the Safe Haven law. “Most women just aren’t educated on this law, and that’s why a lot of babies end up getting abandoned,” Kelsey said. The Safe Haven law decriminalizes leaving an unharmed baby with statutorily designated people. This means that a baby can legally be surrendered to people like firefighters.

The box is available to anyone who might need it at the fire department. Along with the box, Safe Haven Baby Boxes has set up a hotline that is available at all times and can direct an individual to the nearest location of one of their boxes. Call anytime at 1-866-99BABY1.