WOODBURN — Safe Haven Baby Boxes released a new PSA Tuesday evening and new training and education video that will be available to schools across the state.
Monica Kelsey, the founder of Safe Haven Baby Boxes, says their goal with the new education video is to reach teens while they can — in the hopes that they will carry the information with them in case they ever need it now or in the future.
"If we only have one opportunity to reach an individual, we want to reach them at their youngest age," Monica said. "They're going to know about this law 5 years, 10 years, 20 years later and possibly utilize it, but if we don't get to them when we have the opportunity then we may not have that opportunity again."
Kelsey said they have had calls to their hotline from mothers as young as 13 years old.
"We've had a 13-year-old girl surrender," Kelsey said. "We had women as young as 13 and as old as 44 that we've helped surrender through our 1-800 number so we need every menopausal woman to know about this video."
Every state in the country has a Safe Haven Law on the books, but that alone doesn't always prevent infants from becoming victims. And that's something Kelsey is working to fix with her Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
The new PSA released Tuesday evening shows a young girl's struggle as she learns her options and eventually decides to surrender her infant in a Safe Haven box. Although that message may seem sad, but it ends with the joy of another mother who gets the call to adopt the young baby.
Along with the new PSA, Safe Haven Baby Boxes has also created a short educational video in the hopes of reaching out to some of the younger population to teach them about the Safe Haven laws in their state and Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
The roughly 30-minute video will be released to any school that requests it at no cost to them.
Any school can request the SHBB training video to share with their students by filling out the form shown here. You can also reach out to the organization by visiting the SHBB.org website and filling out the "contact us" form.
"There's no money for education awareness in any state's Safe Haven Law," Monica said. "We spent our own money so we can get this into the schools because we might have only one opportunity to reach these kids."
Safe Haven Hotline
It isn't just the boxes that are helping parents, the organization also staffs a 24-hour Safe Haven hotline (1-866-99BABY1), so parents can talk to trained professionals about their options and the possibility of surrendering their baby.
Kelsey says the Safe Haven Hotline is where most cases begin.
Through the help of their hotline and boxes, Safe Haven Baby Boxes has assisted with 98 surrenders, multiple adoptions and even created family plans, and offered financial assistance to mothers in need who thought their only option was to give up their child.
Since the first box was installed in Indiana in 2016, Safe Haven Baby Boxes has seen 10 infants surrendered safely inside boxes in the state of Indiana.
And while the pandemic may have been the big headline of 2020, it was a thrilling year for Kelsey and her SHBB team. In all, the organization installed 32 new boxes at hospitals and fire stations — with 31 of them installed in Indiana.
"We had a mom contact us that had an 8-month-old," Kelsey said. "If you can think up a scenario involving a mother and a child, we've dealt with it."
For a full list of Safe Haven Baby box locations in Indiana, visit their website at SHBB.org.
Watch the new Safe Haven Baby Boxes PSA below.
And check out the organization's new TikTok page below.