July 12, 2019

Seymour Baby box becomes a reality thanks to Knights

Archbishop Charles C. Thompson looks on as Gina Fleming, superintendent of Catholic schools for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, speaks during a June 27 media gathering at SS. Peter and Paul Cathedral in Indianapolis. (Photo by Sean Gallagher)

Members of Knights of Columbus Council 1252 and of St. Ambrose Parish, both in Seymour, are pictured with Seymour Mayor Craig Luedeman, State Rep. Jim Lucas, Seymour Fire Chief Brad Lucas, and Father Daniel Staublin, pastor of St Ambrose Parish, after the June 14 dedication of a Safe Haven Baby Box at Seymour Fire Station 3. (Submitted photo)

By John Shaughnessy

As a member of the Knights of Columbus, Dave Eggers is proud of the Catholic organization’s commitment “to protect children, both born and unborn.”

So when Knights Council 1252 in Seymour became aware of an opportunity to support an effort to save the life of a newborn baby, Eggers and the other local members didn’t hesitate.

The council gave its emotional and financial support of a Safe Haven Baby Box that was installed at Seymour Fire Station 3 on June 14.

The baby box is “a safety device provided for under the state’s Safe Haven Law which legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely and anonymously surrender her unwanted newborn” without fear of criminal prosecution, according to the Safe Haven Baby Box organization.

“It’s a great program,” says Eggers, treasurer of the Knights of Columbus council in Seymour. It allows an opportunity for a mother who wants a better life for her child.”

Once a baby is put in the box at the Seymour fire station, a silent alarm notifies 911 dispatchers. Firefighters are then immediately alerted to retrieve the baby from the box, which has heating and cooling mechanisms for the child’s safety.

The purchase of the box was made possible by Hunter Wart, a 2019 graduate of Columbus North High School who raised $10,000 as part of his senior project.

Seymour’s Knights of Columbus Council paid for installation of the baby box at the fire station. The council has also provided for a yearly maintenance fee to operate the box for years to come.

The baby box was blessed during the June 14 dedication by Father Daniel Staublin, pastor of St. Ambrose Parish in Seymour.

“I never expected all the people who showed up for the dedication,” says Eggers, a member of St. Ambrose. “There were well over 100 people there, including parishioners from St. Ambrose. This is a big deal for Seymour.”

It’s also an important part of the Knights’ mission, Eggers says.

“As Catholics, as Knights, the protection of life in general and the protection of newborn babies in general is utmost to us.” †

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