What started out as a vision to help mothers in Southern Indiana is now a reality.
The 46th Safe Haven Baby Box in the country was unveiled in Ferdinand during a community blessing ceremony on Thursday.
The box is located at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center’s Ambulance Station at 202 East 3rd Street, and is the 42nd box in Indiana.
It provides people with the opportunity to anonymously surrender their healthy newborn without the fear of criminal prosecution at any fire or police station or hospital, as long as the child appears to be less than 30 days old and unharmed.
The idea for the box came to light two years ago as Jasper Middle School student Isabella Harmon, was sitting in her church’s religion class.
“My classmates and I were each asked to make a card with the name and due date of an unborn baby. We promised to pray for our adopted unborn child every day. After nine months, we brought our cards back to celebrate. I was proud that I had kept praying for the baby, who I named Claire. However, I knew that there were still countless unborn children in the world who were in danger of being aborted or being brought into a bad situation,” she says.
From that moment on, Harmon decided she wanted to do something. Harmon then told her best friend and fellow middle schooler, Tori Hemmerlein, about her idea.
“Last September, we just had the idea over a dinner table. And now we’re saving a baby’s life. I think its pretty cool that at 14 years old, we can do that,” Hemmerlein says.
After dinner that night, the girls got to work. Harmon says they first brought their idea to Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center.
“We basically just told them what we knew about the Safe Haven baby boxes, and they said that if you get support and can do this, then we’re right behind you and will help you out,” Harmon says.
Harmon says they began going around the community and asked for donations.
“We went around to a lot of community groups and asked: Is this something that you would possibly support financially or in any other way for us?” Harmon says.
The students raised over $15,000 for the project. Even though it took months of hard work, Harmon says it’s worth it.
“If it saves one baby, it’s definitely worth it, or even if it just helps someone call the Safe-Haven hotline. I think it’s inspiring to other people who know that they can help out in a similar way, even if they’re not sure how yet. If it just helps one person in the world, then that’s all that matters.”
Since their launch in 2016, nine babies have been placed in a Safe Haven Baby Box. Five of these have taken place in 2020.
The 24-hour Safe Haven Hotline is 1-866-99BABY1.
To learn more about Safe Haven Baby Boxes, visit shbb.org.