Jackson becomes second Tennessee city with Safe Haven Baby Box
JACKSON, Tenn. – Jackson is now the second city in Tennessee to install a Safe Haven Baby Box.
The Baby Box, described by the founder Monica Kelsey as a “last resort” for mothers, was installed in the Jackson Fire Station 2 on Westwood Avenue.
Jackson Fire Chief Don Friddle says that after the idea was brought to him, it was obvious that the city needed to get one.
“They presented it. They presented it with such passion that it was obvious that we needed to do this and install it. So, thank you guys so much. Your efforts are really appreciated. It’s great to be a part of it. It is a great day in the City of Jackson,” Friddle said.
Kelsey explained how it works.
Once the door is opened and a baby is placed in the box, the door will lock on the outside and can only be opened inside of the building. A silent alarm will alert the fire department. Even if the station is out on a call, someone will be there to take care of the baby in no more than five minutes.
“You know the Safe Haven Baby Box is a last resort option. It always has been and it always will be. We want them to choose something that is a parenting plan, or an adoption plan, or we want someone to walk into this fire station and hand this child to a person. But if they can’t do that, we have to have an alternative in place,” Kelsey said.
Mayor Scott Conger expressed his desire to have these Baby Boxes at fire stations all over the city.
Dr. Adam Dooley, the Senior Pastor at Englewood Baptist Church, made an announcement about how they are pushing that goal forward.
“Through the continued generosity of some of our members at Englewood, we want to step up and help you do that, and take the next step. We are funding through a partnership with the city the second Safe Haven Box that will be placed at Fire Station number three,” Dooley said.
The other Baby Box in Tennessee is in Knoxville. Kelsey says that 90 days after the box went live, the first baby was placed into it.
There are now 165 Baby Boxes in 12 states across the country.
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