The Jackson Fire Department is seeking the community's support to start a "Safe Haven" Baby Box
JACKSON, TENN (WNBJ)-
A law in Tennessee allows mothers to surrender their baby to a first responder within 14 days of birth…now the Jackson Fire Department is looking to stir up support for a way for mothers to do that anonymously
“The 'Safe Haven' baby law was enacted years ago to protect mothers who wanted to surrender their baby within a certain age from birth.… the 'Safe Have' baby box allows them to do that anonymously where they can place their baby in the box," said Christy Tillman Communications Superviser for Jackson Midlink.
This new secure and climate-controlled baby box was approved in August by the city council- but the fire department is still looking to raise $8,500 of their $10,000 goal to fund the box they say Jackson desperately needs.
“We met with birth choices a few weeks ago when they said that the average age of women that they're seeing is 21. Well, that's your college-age kids, you know, who might have a scholarship. They've got their future planned out. And a baby doesn't fit into that in that moment. So this is just some of these are some opportunities and some resources for those women," Tillman said.
Jana Compton of the Fire Department and Tillma both found themselves in unplanned pregnancies at a young age.
Compton said, “16 found myself in high school, pregnant, unplanned. And thankfully, I had a great family. Even with a great family support system. Friends, it's difficult…I can't imagine myself as someone not having a support system and where I would go, where I would turn. So I feel like it was very important for that mom in crisis.”
Tillman added, “I was 19. I was in my sophomore year in university, and it was hard to go home until my parents and I pastor at my church all my friends and family that i was pregnant. So and like Jana said, until you're there, you really don't know how hard it is on a mom. And we're just so thankful for this resource to provide to mothers.”
As soon as the baby box is funded, it'll be set up at fire station two.
The station was chosen because of its close proximity to the hospital, where all babies would be transported within five minutes of being left in the box.
Organizers are looking for the community's support to be the first city in the state with one of these boxes.
To get involved, go check out Madison county Safe Haven Baby Boxes on Facebook- or check out this link.