Teacher works to bring Safe Haven Baby Box to the Seneca County area

PHOTO SUBMITTED A prototype of a baby box, where parents could surrender their newborns anonymously.

One science teacher is not giving up on a project to bring a safe alternative to women in crisis.

Calvert Catholic High School science teacher Rachel Ousley has been continuing her work on bringing a Safe Haven Baby Box to the Seneca County area.

In doing so, the STEM class at Calvert Catholic High School has been building Eastern Bluebird houses and bird feeders. The goal is to build 200 houses in an effort to raise $10,000 for a Safe Haven Baby Box to be placed in the area.

Ousley said 197 houses and feeders have been built with 90 sold. She said the students are planning to come in and build more this summer.

The project’s inception was a long-awaited idea by` Ousley.

“This is something I am not giving up on,” she said. “This is that important to me. There is a need. I would rather have it be there and not needed than not have the box there at all.”

The Safe Haven Baby Boxes have been introduced in multiple states. These boxes allow mothers to place their unwanted child in a safe haven baby box that is outside of selected locales with medically trained professionals. Boxes are equipped with heating and cooling features and have ADT silent alarm trips installed so emergency personnel are notified within 30-seconds that there is a newborn placed in the box. Boxes also are tested and maintained every six-months.

Ousley said Mercy Health-Tiffin Hospital has requested to not be apart of this project at this time. She said they are in the process of reaching out to other location options.

“We want to be able to offer a safe alternative to women in

crisis,” Ousley said. “We hear about babies being found in horrific places. It takes courage to surrender a baby. I want it to be as easy as possible to do something for babies and for those who can’t speak.”

Ousley said there will be a baby boxe established in Defiance.

Ousley said the Tiffin Right to Life has also provided assistance donating $4,000 towards the purchase of the baby box. So far the project has itself raised $6,000 total so far.

“These stories hit me and other people right in the heart and we feel helpless,” Ousley said. “This is a solution for that helpless feeling.”

The class chose to work to save the bluebird because the species has nearly became extinct following the blizzard of 1978 – which from the extreme cold and large snowdrifts eliminated the bird’s nesting spots.

“I see a problem and I want to fix it, not wait for someone else to fix it,” she said. “That someone else should be you.”

You can still purchase a birdhouse or feeder. To purchase either a birdhouse or bird feeder, contact Ousely at rousley@calvertcatholic.org or stop in at either the high school or elementary school office.