Louisville Church Raises $50,000 to Install Safe Haven Baby Boxes

Claiming they want to give mothers in Louisville another option, a church in Fern Creek has raised enough money to install special boxes at three fire stations where people can return their babies — no questions asked.

Fern Creek Christian Church pastor Craig Grammer said the church’s initial goal was to purchase a baby box to be installed outside the Fern Creek Fire Department, but thanks to the large amount of donations, two boxes were set up in the Pleasure Ridge Park Fire Department and another outside. Shively Fire Department.

The Safe Haven Baby Boxes, which are air-conditioned and allow babies to be dropped without face-to-face interaction, cost $15,000 each.

The church collected the money for them in just two weeks.

While her church launched the initiative to buy the boxes last year — long before abortions were banned in Kentucky — the change in state law “reinforced in our minds that the church has a responsibility to help”.

The Kentucky Senate and House passed the Safe Haven Baby Box Bill in March 2021. While there was already a law allowing the release of infants under 30 days old to fire stations, police departments or hospitals, the baby box eliminates face-to-face interaction.

The box is connected to a dispatch system that alerts emergency responders when a baby is placed inside. The box also cannot be opened without a key once a baby is put inside.

“The baby box gives a mom the opportunity to (return her baby) without shame or judgment or guilt,” he said. “We were torn because you hope something like this never gets used to, but for a mother to have such an option, we thought it might be a good thing.”

The PRP and Fern Creek boxes are working, while the Shively box is being installed. When complete, it will be the 10th Safe Haven Baby Box in the state.

Since 2016, 19 babies have been released in baby boxes across the country and three more babies have been released directly to firefighters in baby boxes, according to the organization’s website.

The organization also focuses on raising awareness of the Shelter Act and runs a helpline where women can receive advice and help.

“We are here to serve our community and this is another way to serve it – to provide families in crisis with a safe way to leave their baby behind if that is what they choose to do,” Shively Fire said. Collar. Charles Mucker about the box to his department.

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The Fern Creek Church has a congregation of about 650, but Grammer said he didn’t expect so much money to be raised.

“When that total came in, it literally blew our minds,” he said of the $54,085.51 raised. “You would have thought we had won the lottery. People were crying and clapping.”

Going forward, the church has raised enough to install a fifth box and is trying to find the best location for it. The plan is to finance the installation of a new box each year.

“We want to give mothers another option,” Grammer said.

Contact reporter Krista Johnson at [email protected]

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