For Mike Henderson, a member of the Knights of Columbus Council 12623, Safe Haven Baby Boxes are kind of like insurance — helpful to have, but you hope you never need it.
The boxes provide a place where parents can safely, legally and anonymously surrender a baby, who can be placed for adoption. With the help of Henderson and other Knights in his council, a box is being installed at the Radcliff Fire Department this spring.
“I really hope there’s never a need for this one, if it sits there and rots away … I don’t care if it’s ever used but if it saves one baby it was worth every penny of it,” he said in a recent interview.
Every penny of it amounts to $13,975 collected by the Knights of Columbus Council 12623 of St. Christopher Church in Hardin County.
After a baby box was installed in Louisville, Henderson said the council started talking about raising money to purchase one for Radcliff.
They organized a raffle with a fundraising goal of $10,000, the cost of one box, Henderson said, adding that they expected to hold a second fundraiser for the installation fee.
Enough money was raised by the raffle to cover both costs.
“There were so many people who wrote ‘Safe Haven’ across the top (of their raffle tickets) so whoever won, the money would go back to Safe Haven,” Henderson said. The first and second place prize-winning tickets were among the 100 or so who donated the winnings to the collection.
Safe Haven has installed more than 100 boxes in seven states, in addition to staffing a 24-hour hotline for women considering surrendering a baby. The boxes are installed inside fire stations or hospitals. Each box is equipped with a door on the outside of the building for a mother to place a baby inside. A silent alarm is triggered when the door opens and again when a baby is placed. After the mother closes the door, it locks.
According to the Safe Haven website, the hotline has received more than 8,000 calls from around the country. Safe Haven has referred more than 500 women to crisis pregnancy centers, assisted in seven adoption referrals and has had more than 100 legal Safe Haven surrenders.
For more information about Safe Haven Baby Boxes, click here. Parents who are considering surrendering a baby or who are in crisis can call the hotline at 1-866-99BABY1.