Teen Raised $10K to Install Baby Box. It Paid Off Last Week

A newborn girl was left inside the Safe Haven box in Indiana
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 28, 2020 7:08 PM CST
Teen Raised $10K to Install Baby Box. It Paid Off Last Week
The Safe Haven Baby Box at the Woodburn, Ind., Volunteer Fire Department, is temperature-controlled and sounds an alarm when the door is opened.   (Chad Ryan/The Journal Gazette via AP)

(Newser) – Less than a year after an Indiana teen raised $10,000 to install a Safe Haven Baby Box in his town, a newborn was left inside the box. It took Hunter Wart, 19, more than a year to raise the funds; he mowed lawns and collected scrap metal, which he then turned in to a scrap yard for cash. "It was a lot of hard work," his mom tells CNN. And on Thursday afternoon, it paid off in a big way: Alarms immediately alerted firefighters a baby was inside the box, which was installed at the Seymour Fire Department in June of last year, and she was retrieved within one minute. "This baby is healthy, perfect, and doing very well, and appeared to be around one hour old," the founder of Safe Haven says, per the Tribune.

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"We are ecstatic that the system was used," the fire chief says. "It worked perfect, exactly how it was designed to work." The infant was taken to a hospital and will be placed in the custody of the state's child service workers upon her release; an adoptive home will be found within 45 days, but mothers who surrender their babies have 30 days to return if they change their minds. The boxes are meant to give distressed mothers a place to safely and anonymously leave their babies. Wart, who came up with the idea as a junior in high school and worked on it as his senior project, is now raising money for a second box. He asked that the baby be called Mia, and said he hopes she will reach out to him when she's older and hears her story. (Read more uplifting news stories.)

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