HUNTINGTON, Ind. (WANE) – A Safe Haven Baby Box will soon be installed in at a Huntington fire station after a $30,000 fundraising goal for was recently met and surpassed.
“A Safe Haven Baby Box is a place for a mother in distress that basically has nowhere else to turn,” said Huntington Fire Chief Tony Johnson. “It’s something that we want to make available in case there ever is a need for it.”
Indiana’s safe haven laws allow a mother in distress to safely, securely and anonymously surrender custody of her newborn child to an emergency service provider, at which point the baby is given medical treatment and placed with a caregiver, the press release said.
Huntington’s Baby Box will be installed at the Etna Avenue fire station and maintained by the Huntington Fire Department, the press release said. Once completed, Huntington will become the 54th Indiana community with an active Safe Haven Baby Box.
Chief Johnson said Wednesday that the check for the Baby Box itself has been sent, and contractors are ready to install as soon as it arrives. He projects it will be up and running sometime in April or May.
Of the fundraising goal, the department said $20,000 will go toward purchase and installation expenses. The remaining $10,000 is budgeted for ongoing operating costs, such as alarm company fees.
Any donation received above the $30,000 goal will go to support Huntington County Right to Life’s work with new and expectant mothers, Chief Johnson said.
The Huntington Fire Department partnered with the Huntington County Community Foundation in its fundraising campaign. HCCF Executive Director Matt Ditzler attributed its success to a community-wide effort that included local churches and religious organizations, local business support and individuals who donated toward the cause.