This year, Glenn said he wants to focus on good news stories that inspire hope—and this one is definitely worth celebrating. Ocala Fire and Rescue just had its first baby delivered to their department through a safe haven baby box.
Ocala launched Florida's first Safe Haven Baby Box (SHBB) in December 2020, which allows a mother in crisis to "safely, securely, and anonymously surrender a newborn who cannot be cared for." In its two years of operation, the Ocala safe haven box continues to be the only one of its kind in the entire state of Florida and only one of 134 SHBBs across the country. The program's aim is to fight against abortion and infant abandonment by providing mothers in crisis with a safe, anonymous way to give their babies to the proper caregivers who will ensure placement into a loving home through adoption.
In 1999, Texas became the first state to pass a "safe haven law," allowing mothers to deliver their babies to a fire department or local law enforcement up to a certain age and not be prosecuted for abandonment. Now, all 50 states have adopted haven laws. Monica Kelsey founded SBHH to help facilitate mothers in crisis who want to ensure their baby's safe arrival at a "safe haven" while retaining anonymity.
The boxes have a side that opens to the outside of the fire department building, allowing parents to place their infant in a temperature-controlled container that immediately alerts firefighters to the baby's presence 60 seconds after they're placed inside. After two years since the Ocala fire rescue launched Florida's first SBHH, the city is celebrating the anonymous mother's courage to choose life for her baby.
In a press conference following the baby's delivery, SBHH founder Monica Kelsey said, "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." Kelsey started SBHH after learning that she herself was abandoned as an infant.
Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn also spoke at the conference, predicting a "bright future" for the "miracle baby." Guinn said:
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. We're glad it was there as a resource for the mother of this child. I'm sure there will be a bright future ahead for this precious child.
As Glenn said, in the midst of the onslaught of negative news in the media cycle, it's important to also focus on the good things that are happening around us. When we hear of a mother who chose life for her child over abandonment and an entire city welcomes the child with open arms—what an incredible thing to celebrate, indeed!