Teen Works Hard To Save $10k To Have “Safe Haven Baby Box” Installed In His Community
We often hear people say that life is a blessing. However, that might not be the case if it’s a result of an unplanned and unexpected pregnancy, or worse, sexual coercion. Nonprofit organization Safe Haven Baby Boxes offers an alternative choice for unprepared parents who are incapable of caring for their children.
As the name suggests, the organization provides drop-off boxes for newborn babies that would otherwise be abandoned on the streets. Typically installed on exterior walls of fire stations and hospitals, the boxes feature sensors and temperature regulators. When a baby is surrendered, a silent alarm will activate, alerting the personnel and prompting them to retrieve the child.
In 2019, a 19-year-old teenager made the headlines for raising $10K to install a Safe Haven Baby Box in his community
A junior at Columbus North High School, Indiana at the time, Hunter Wart decided to raise the funds as part of his senior project.
He spent several months mowing lawns and scrapping metal to raise the amount required to purchase the device. According to his mom Julia Kwasniewski, “It was a lot of hard work. A lot of blood, sweat, and tears.” The teenager’s efforts finally paid off after the box’s installation at the Seymour Fire Department in June 2019.
In less than a year after its installation, the firefighters received an abandoned newborn for the first time. It was a healthy baby girl. They estimated her to be an hour old only at the time of the drop-off. The firefighters initially cared for her while waiting for the ambulance that would send her to the hospital. According to officials, the baby will be in the custody of state child services workers upon release.
Fire chief Brad Lucas then expressed his delight over the success of the system and how people used it as intended. In recognition of Wart’s hard work, he got the privilege of naming the baby, and he named her Mia.
According to Monica Kelsey, founder of the organization, the state hasn’t recorded any deaths among abandoned babies since the installation of the box
Kelsey, who experienced abandonment as a baby, launched the initiative in 2016. Aside from preventing illegal abandonment of infants, the boxes also provide anonymity to mothers who opt to surrender their babies.
Through its 24-hour hotline, the organization also extends assistance and counseling to mothers in crisis. To date, there are over 100 drop-off boxes across Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, and Florida.
While most people are grateful for these boxes, they also felt sad about the need for them
Meanwhile, others couldn’t help but criticize anti-abortion groups