86th Safe Haven Baby Box in Indiana Goes Live in Elwood ELWOOD, INDIANA (JULY 25, 2022)- The first Safe Haven Baby Box in Madison County Indiana will be blessed on Tuesday July 26th. The event will occur at Elwood, IN Fire Department at 10:30 AM EST located at 1505 South B Street, Elwood, Indiana 46036. The community is welcome to attend the blessing and see how this asset is helping serve the vulnerable in their community. Safe Haven Baby Boxes has had seven surrenders via Baby Box so far this year. The Elwood location marks the 113th Baby Box in the nation.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes was founded by Monica Kelsey, who was abandoned as an infant.
Prior to founding Safe Haven Baby Boxes, she served her country spending eight years in
the military and served then her community as a firefighter/medic. Now her life’s mission is
to end infant abandonment with the aid of awareness and education on Safe Haven Laws.
Providing anonymous safe surrender locations through Safe Haven Baby Boxes is also key
to the mission.
Monica Kelsey authored “Blessed to Have Been Abandoned the Story of the Baby Box
Lady,” detailing her life and journey to starting Safe Haven Baby Boxes, which quickly
became an Amazon bestseller. Kelsey explained, “We are grateful to be in Elwood with a
community and Fire Department eager to serve the vulnerable women in crisis and their
infants. Preparation is key to saving lives through safe surrender and we are proud that
Elwood has made this a priority.”
Elwood Mayor Todd Jones, and the Elwood Board of Works and Public Safety have
supported this project along with the Fire Department. Fire Chief Mark Sullivan stated, “The
Elwood Fire Department has protected the City of Elwood and its residents for over 125
years. We are always striving to better ourselves for the protection of our citizens through
training and modernization of equipment. The Safe Haven Baby box is another great tool in
our toolbox to protect the most vulnerable of our citizens.”
The project was made possible due to the generosity of an anonymous donor that
contributed to the Outreach Missions Witness Committee at the Elwood First United Methodist
Church. This committee along with Pastor Roberta Cook and Alice Humel-Denton truly
advocated for this asset to be placed in the community. Installation of the Baby Box was
provided by LaShure Concrete at a discounted rate and Priority One installed the alarm system.
Special thanks go to Madison County Central Dispatch who stands ready to assist and helped
with the testing process. Linda Znachko founder of He Knows Your Name will be present at the Blessing as well.
She started He Knows Your Name in October of 2009. Her non-profit gives abandoned
babies a proper funeral and offers resources to families suffering from infant and child loss.
The footprint featured on the Safe Haven Baby Box is to honor the legacy of Baby Amelia,
who was adopted by Znachko. On December 28th, 2014, Baby Amelia was found
abandoned at Eagle Creek Park wrapped inside a Vincennes University sweatshirt.
“Amelia's footprint has value and purpose,” as Znachko shares, "A mother has to use her
own feet to walk up to the safe Haven Baby Box, and put that baby in a box, and give that
baby life, after she has chosen to carry that baby"
The Baby Box is a sophisticated device featuring climate control and a silent alarm system
that notifies first responders of a surrendered infant. The infant will be attended to within
five minutes, medically evaluated, and adopted within 30 to 45 days.
Twenty one infants have been placed in a Baby Box since 2017. Nationwide, 121
surrenders have resulted from calling the National Safe Haven Baby Box hotline. Seven
Safe Haven Baby Box surrenders have occurred so far this year. Safe Haven Baby Boxes
are currently available in Indiana, Ohio, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky and New Mexico