Safe Haven Baby Box No. 201 received an intimate, special blessing Monday morning in Hopkinsville — when scores gathered around the main Hopkinsville Fire Department station at 116 Phillip Meacham Way in order to pray for its promised use.
On the surface, it’s a drop point for distressed mothers — who, for whatever reason, can’t support an infant.
Behind its plastic door, however, is an emergency response team working round the clock, a strong partner in the Alpha Pregnancy Care Center, and a host of local and regional donors who made its installation a reality.
Jen Savage, with Safe Haven Baby Boxes, noted this is Kentucky’s 31st box to be installed, and that four babies have already been taken in by agencies since New Year’s Day.
Two in the last week.
Olivia Savage, teen spokesperson for Safe Haven Baby Boxes, offered prayer — and said that social media provided the best platform for messaging and motherly outreach.
HFD Chaplain Nate Miller brought forth the official blessing on the box.
Angie Crawford, Alpha’s director, said that when she first learned of the Safe Haven Baby Box program, she was “instantly drawn” to its mission because of its congruence with Alpha’s, as she and her staff daily speak with women trying to handle unexpected pregnancies — often with “desperation, panic, and difficult circumstances.”
She said she was originally nervous about raising the money necessary for the installation, but that within months, the community stepped forward with donations as small as $10-to-$20, to churches creating fundraisers while offering up portions of their annual budgets.
Some individuals, she added, gave money in memory of others, and that this is just “another service to save a life, while providing compassion.”
Hopkinsville’s Mayor, J.R. Knight, confirmed that he and Hopkinsville Fire Department Chief Steve Futrell have already been discussing the possibility of adding another baby box installation on the other side of the city limits.
Futrell noted that he and his staff have been quizzing the department on the procedural manual, and that within the last week, the response time to an infant in drills has fallen to 90 seconds before human contact is made.
Founded by Monica Kelsey in 2015, Safe Haven Baby Boxes is a non-profit organization with its headquarters in Woodburn, Indiana. It serves its home state, as well as Ohio, Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, New Mexico, North Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Oklahoma and Arizona.