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Blessing of the Baby Box at Ludlow Fire Department


LUDLOW, KENTUCKY (JANUARY 30, 2024)- The front of the Ludlow Fire Department now features a Safe Haven Baby Box which was blessed on Wednesday at 4 PM EST. Following the blessing, the Baby Box is available 24/7 in the event a parent needs to anonymously surrender their infant. Our program has already had 2 surrenders this year. Across the nation, there are 197 locations throughout 15 states.

Safe Haven Baby Boxes was formed by Monica Kelsey in 2016 as she learned in adulthood that she was abandoned as an infant. Today, the organization fights tirelessly to protect women in crisis and their infants in a mission to end infant abandonment. A key aspect of this mission is the Safe Haven Haven Baby Box which allows for the legal safe surrender of a baby with complete anonymity. It is permissible in states that have amended their state’s existing Safe Haven Law to allow for Baby Box placement.  Currently, Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Iowa, Missouri, West Virginia, Mississippi, and Alabama have a Baby Box presence within their state.

The organization aids women in crisis with their National Hotline, 1-866-99BABY1. The hotline provides free, confidential counseling with an expertise in each state’s Safe Haven Law. Education is a key component of Safe Haven Baby Boxes mission. Kelsey shared, “Ludlow is offering their community an additional measure of protection to women in crisis. We are grateful for their investment in our effort to end infant abandonment”.

The city of Ludlow would not have this Baby Box if not for the help of several community members. A special thanks to Home Savings Bank, and the First Baptist Church of Ludlow for their part in funding this project, along with Lisa Klee, who coordinated fundraising efforts. The Safe Haven Baby Box installation was provided by Firefighter/EMS Steve Rahschulte and Gravity Solutions for installing and integrating the alarm system. Last but not least, several Ludlow Fire Dept members that assisted with painting and preparing the Baby Box. “We are thankful for our community and the donors who supported us through this process, this is a tool in our toolbox that I hope never gets used, but it’s there if it’s needed,” said Fire Chief Michael Steward.

If a woman chooses to surrender her infant via the Baby Box, the door locks when the mother closes the box. Alarms alert the location that a baby has been surrendered and personnel will retrieve the infant within five minutes. The infant will immediately be transported to the hospital for medical evaluation and the baby will be with their adoptive family soon. Families seeking to adopt a Safe Haven baby should reach out to their local Department of Family Services to register for foster care with the intention to adopt.

In 2023, a record 17 babies were surrendered via Baby Box. More women are trusting the organization to protect themselves and their infants in a time of need. Since the first Baby Box surrender in 2017, 40 infants have been placed in a Baby Box with the numbers increasing year over year. The hotline has also assisted with over 140 surrenders at Safe Haven locations.

For any questions or for more information, please contact Monica Kelsey at [email protected]

Click HERE to view the program of the ceremony on January 31, 2024.

Click HERE for more information about Safe Haven Baby Boxes.

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