Open Accessibility Menu

Washington, IN Blesses 163rd Baby Box in Nation

Washington, IN Blesses 163rd Baby Box in Nation
WASHINGTON, INDIANA (SEPTEMBER 5, 2023)- The community is welcome to attend the blessing of the West End Fire Station Baby Box on Wednesday September 6th. The event will occur at 3 PM EST at 1002 West Walnut St, Washington, IN 47501. The Baby Box is featured on the west end of the building and is available following the blessing 24/7 for anonymous surrender following the event. The Washington location is the 106th in
Indiana and there have been 14 surrenders via Baby Box in 2023. Safe Haven Baby Boxes fills the void in the Safe Haven movement as the only organization in the nation dedicated to providing an anonymous surrender option for mothers in crisis. The organization was founded in 2016 by Monica Kelsey who learned in adulthood she was abandoned as an infant. Now her life’s mission is to end infant abandonment and advocate for the Safe Haven Law. In addition to educating citizens on the Safe Haven Law, Safe Haven Baby Boxes provides free confidential counseling via their hotline 1-866-99BABY1. Kelsey explained, “We are grateful for these community leaders who have come together to provide a visual representation of the Safe Haven Law as well as an anonymous surrender option in the Washington community. We can end infant abandonment when we are prepared for mothers in crisis.” A Baby Box allows for the legal, safe, and anonymous surrender of an infant provided under the Safe Haven Law. It features three silent alarms alerting first responders to the presence of a surrendered infant. The baby will be attended to within five minutes and taken to the hospital for medical evaluation. Adoption occurs within 30 to 45 days by families who are signed up for foster care with the intention to adopt. “Denny Smith and Louis Kavanaugh have been instrumental from the beginning of this project. They have been my biggest cheerleaders, and support and always gave me the nudge I needed to get this project rolling again”, said Shawna O'Kelley Brinson, RN, Daviess Community Hospital. Fire Chief Steve Walden stated, “Projects like the Safe Haven Baby Box are born from an idea. This idea has come to fruition because of the need, Shawna O’Kelley Brinson from Daviess Community Hospital, and generous donors. The Washington Fire Department is happy to be able to house the Safe Haven Baby Box at the West End Fire Station.”
Since 2017, 35 infants have been placed in a Baby Box. Nationwide, over 130 surrenders have resulted from calling the National Safe Haven Baby Box hotline. Safe Haven Baby Boxes are currently available in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Missouri and Mississippi. For any questions, Monica Kelsey will be on-site at this blessing. For more information
please contact Monica at