TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Two years after being installed, a Safe Haven Baby Box in Florida was used for the first time.
Ocala Fire Rescue said a newborn baby was anonymously surrendered to the Safe Haven box at their headquarters recently.
134 climate-controlled boxes have been installed at firehouses and other locations across the country, creating a safe place for mothers who are in crisis or are otherwise unable to parent to anonymously surrender infants. A silent alarm will notify first responders after a baby is placed inside.
“We are so proud of this selfless parent who has lovingly surrendered their infant via a Baby Box over the holiday! We are so happy this community was prepared for this situation,” Safe Haven Baby Boxes Founder Monica Kelsey said in a statement to WESH. “We know this baby will be so loved by an adoptive family and we are so thrilled to be a part of protecting infants from abandonment.”
Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn said he is glad the city could provide this resource for mom and baby.
“I’m so happy to hear of this miracle baby. I knew when we did this in 2020, this day would come – we all did – we just didn’t know when,” Mayor Guinn told WESH. “We’re glad it was there as a resource for the mother of this child.”
The Ocala Safe Haven Baby Box was installed in 2020, marking the 66th installation in the U.S.