Hope In The Community
The City Council of Belen, New Mexico, met to hear action items needed to bring a Safe Haven Baby Box to the Belen Fire Station.
Mayor Noblin, City Manager Salas, Fire Chief Nicholas Moya, Police Chief Harris, Valencia County and the Belen City Council were in attendance.
Margaret Ridley and Stephanie Guerrero presented.
The action items mentioned were as follows:
- Enter a contract with Safe Haven Baby Boxes.
- Create a city ordinance to both give permission for the use city property and protection for first responders.
- Pursue state partial funding.
- Issue a Proclamation declaring Belen a Safe Haven for mother’s
and infants in crisis.
- Host a Dedication/Blessing once the Safe Haven Baby Box is ready for use.
“Margaret Ridley and I are so excited to partner with city leaders to spearhead and get this project on the fast track. Now, we need individuals in the community to pull together to continue to effort to educate and donate.”
– Stephanie Guerrero
The cost of a Safe Haven Baby Box (with direct links to First Responders) is around $16,000. With the state-designated funding of $10,000 per county, plus the $3,361 the Belen community raised in only a couple weeks, there is hope that installation can move forward quickly.
In addition to the cost of the Safe Haven Baby Box and installation, the community requires an additional $10,000-$15,000 dollars to put toward marketing and education.
“For the Safe Haven Baby Box to be effective, we must educate our population and advertise our ability to help.”
– Stephanie Guerrero
First Baptist Church of Belen offered to carry the $200 annual maintenance fees. Pastor David Guerrero, (whose church agreed to carry maintenance fees for the project) offered,
“I am committed to supporting, both in word and action, Belen’s Beloved Baby Box effort and give others in our community the possibility of protecting life as well.”
Wearing a Safe Haven t-shirt bearing the footprints of infants saved through the safe surrender boxes, co-Presenter Margaret Ridley reminded the community of the pressing need for a Safe Haven Baby Box.
“As a woman who experienced an unexpected teen pregnancy that rocked my world, it’s my greatest hope that Belen would offer life-affirming resources and choices to women who feel overwhelmed with caring for an infant. I feel privileged to be part of initiating the Belen Beloved Baby Box project with Stephanie Guerrero and working with a great team- Mayor Noblin, City Manager Salas, Fire Chief Moya, Police Chief Harris, County Sheriff Vigil, the Belen City Council, Safe Haven Baby Boxes, Inc and our compassionate community of donors and volunteers.”
The Belen city leaders agreed to proceed with creating an ordinance and moving forward with the above-mentioned action items. Once the ordinance is created and reviewed by city legal, it will be brought to a vote. However, most, if not all members appear excited to see this opportunity come to fruition.
To be part of this investment in the future of our children, donate directly to Belen’s Beloved Baby Box.