SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The 61st Safe Haven Baby Box in the United States was unveiled at Springdale Fire Station #6 Sunday.
According to a press release, the unveiling event took place at 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 25. NWA Respect Life hosted the official event.
The box allows a mother to surrender her newborn infant, of 30 days or less, with 100% anonymity. The Baby Box has many security features, such as heating and cooling components and an alarm system. A light illuminates the hospital-grade bassinet covered in blankets.
The infant is placed inside the box for less than 4 minutes, all while the first responders rush to respond to the silent alarm to retrieve the newborn.
The funds for the Baby Box project were donated by an anonymous donor.
“I am honored to live in a community where programs like a Safe Haven Baby Box exist. I understand there can be so much uncertainty and fear when welcoming a new child into the world. The Safe Haven Baby Box allows for individuals to surrender a baby safely, knowing they will experience love and be given opportunities to be who they were born to be. That is a beautiful thing and we are thankful for this option,” says Springdale Mayor Doug Sprouse.
“The organization’s mission is to provide resources that allow a parent to make the best decision for the safety of the child. We are proud to partner with the City of Springdale and the Springdale Fire Department, as they become the 3rd location to offer a Baby Box in the State of Arkansas. Springdale is taking a proactive approach to infant abandonment in our country,” says Safe Have Baby Box founder Monica Kelsey.
Ten infants have been placed in a Baby Box in the last three years. Six of the ten Baby Box surrenders took place in 2020, with one baby being placed in the Benton, Arkansas baby box last May.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes are currently available in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas and Florida.