Indiana fire department alerted after newborn surrendered to Safe Haven Baby Box: 'Chance at life'

The 2-day-old girl was surrendered with a note from the mother sharing her love and hopes for her daughter

Firefighters in central Indiana are thanking a mother for safely surrendering her 2-day-old baby to the department's Safe Haven Baby Box.

Kokomo Fire Department said its 2nd Platoon was working when the newborn girl was placed into the box installed at the station on West Superior Street on July 17, setting off alarms and alerting the crew. Firefighter James Shaffer arrived at the box first and took care of the little girl until St. Vincent Ascension medics arrived.

The baby was left with a note from the mother, who shared her love and hopes for her daughter.

"While we will never know your full story that led you to this point in life. We thank you for making the loving decision to make sure your baby is taken care of," the department wrote on Facebook. "We can’t imagine what you are going through, but you led with love and your baby will always carry that with her."


People talking outside Safe Haven Baby Box

Kokomo Firefighter James Shaffer (holding microphone) was the first person to find the two-day-old girl once alarms alerted the crew to a baby placed in the station's box. (Kokomo Fire Department/Facebook)

The purpose behind the Safe Haven Baby Box is to provide a safe outlet for people wanting to anonymously surrender their baby in hopes of combating abandonment.

The box where the baby was surrendered was installed on June 11, 2020, Safe Haven Baby Boxes told FOX 59. Over 100 Baby Boxes have been installed in the state since 2017, and Monday's surrender was the fifth time boxes in the Hoosier State have been utilized this year.

"Although these are hard choices to make, we applaud the mother for giving her daughter the chance at life through an anonymous, safe and legal option," SHBB founder Monica Kelsey told the outlet.


According to the organization's website, it has had over 132 legal Safe Haven surrenders to date – 32 of those babies were placed in Baby Boxes and three others were handily directly to firefighters at Baby Box locations. SHBB has also assisted in nine adoption referrals.

Safe Haven Baby Box installed in Indiana

There are 155 Safe Haven Baby Boxes spread out across Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma. (Safe Haven Baby Boxes)

In addition to the boxes, the organization offers a national 24-hour hotline (1-866-99B-ABY1) where women in need are provided with counseling and assistance for free, SHBB said. The hotline has received over 8,000 calls from every state in the U.S. and over 500 women have been referred to crisis pregnancy centers.

SHBB has 155 boxes installed across Indiana, Arkansas, Kentucky, Florida, Ohio, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Oklahoma.

The state of Arizona offers a similar option through "Baby Drawers" by Banner Hospital.

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