IDENTIFYING A NEED, FULFILLING A MISSION.
A small box was recently built into the side of the Franciscan Health Lafayette East’s Center for Women and Children.
Outfitted in dark iron with bright red signs reading “Safe Haven Baby Box Drop Off,” this seemingly simple device is equipped with high-tech silent alarms, heating and cooling elements, and a plush little bed. This “baby box” is meant to keep an infant comfortable while the staff at Franciscan come to its rescue.
Since 1999, nearly 3,500 newborns in the United States have been abandoned on street corners, in garbage cans or within public buildings.
One woman, Monica Kelsey, couldn’t stand for this, so she started a movement to provide safe, anonymous ways to surrender an infant with Safe Haven Baby Boxes. This past July, Kelsey attended the dedication of Franciscan’s first Safe Haven Baby Box in Greater Lafayette.
“I don’t want any mother in America to feel that she doesn’t have the option to remain anonymous and save the life of her child. Because those two things, she can do at any baby box,” she said.
Because of Kelsey’s calling and the generosity of community members like you, Franciscan Health Foundation is changing the landscape of how our community cares for its newest arrivals. Building on our mission to love and care for the unloved, the Foundation hopes to bring baby boxes to other communities, including Franciscan Health campuses in Crawfordsville and Rensselaer.