FORT DODGE — The state’s first Safe Haven Baby Box is now available on the north side of the Fort Dodge Fire Department. The box was christened Thursday with a blessing and ribbon cutting ceremony.
The founder and CEO of the company that makes the boxes, Monica Kelsey, is a retired firefighter medic, ex military and says she has always been on the frontlines of trying to protect something. “This is box number 171 in the nation and I every time I say that I just I get so excited because 170, that’s nothing. We have so much work to do,” she says. “You know we’re finding …every three days in America there is a baby that dies or there is a baby that is is barely alive that is a baby that is found, and that has to stop.”
Kelsey says she was abandoned by her 17 year old mother who had been sexually assaulted in 1972 and sees the mission of bringing baby box’s to communities across the country as a calling. “This box is going to help this community and beyond to make sure that these children are protected or mothers are protecting. You know giving women options is what these women need, they need options and today in Fort Dodge we’re giving women options that they never had before.”
The box allows the parents to safely leave the baby if it is not wanted. The box comes to Fort Dodge after a case where a mother and father drowned their newborn in the bathtub. The next closest baby box to Fort Dodge is in St. Louis, Missouri.