Saving Precious Lives: -
“A Safe Haven for Newborns” is dedicated to reaching pregnant girls and mothers before they reach the crisis stage.
We are the safety net, possibly the last resort for a pregnant girl or mother with her newborn at her moment of crisis, very often-facing life and death issues, two lives saved, the precious newborn and their mother. So many times, once assistance is provided a mother chooses to keep her child and we were there for her.
The lifeline of our organization is our 24/7 multilingual statewide referral helpline to assist pregnant girls/women in crisis. We provide quick, confidential one on one assistance accessing our extensive statewide referral database. We assist them as they make their decision in the best interest of their baby and themselves, whether with counseling, parenting, health related issues, adoption or confidentially placing their newborn with a "Safe Haven"...
The Safe Haven program is saving lives, as supported by the number of newborns saved from abandonment and the many pregnant girls and women assisted during their most desperate time.
All calls are confidential and everyone is helped. We are never, ever judgmental. It takes enormous compassion and a great deal of courage to seek help vs. the tragic alternative of abandonment, often resulting in an innocent newborns death.
Without the “Safe Haven” program, activities and our 24/7 multilingual referral helpline, many if not most, of the over 150 babies saved to date from the dangers of abandonment would not be here today. They are in loving homes with their adoptive parents reaching for the world, maybe the President of the United States, a Supreme Court Justice, a Scientist finding a cure for cancer or most important, a great mom or dad to their children.
How we provide direct assistance…….
Safe Haven relinquishment – Our direct involvement includes:
- Coordinating and assisting a mother with the entire “Safe Haven” process.
- Conferring and coordinating the process with “Safe Haven” facilities (Hospitals, Fire/Ems stations)
- Taking a newborn ourselves to a Safe Haven facility when it is the only option to insure the safety of the baby.
- Education – providing education and Safe Haven resources to pregnant girls/women considering the Safe Haven option or adoption.
Medical Related Issues:
Referral assistance for any pregnancy related issues including arranging for pregnancy testing, initial appointment and transportation to regular appointments. Applying for Medicaid coverage when appropriate.
Arrange for the necessities such as: food, baby related items, baby clothes, local transportation and government sponsored programs.
Coordinate and facilitate shelter/housing requests. Facilities include Co-Ed, women only, women with children, women with infants.
Arranging for pro bono legal services for issues ranging from:
Relinquishing parental rights, regaining parental rights to restoring individual civil rights.
Unfortunately, from time to time, we experience the tragedy of newborns left in an unsafe place that do not survive. We have established “The Garden of Innocence” for those precious little ones. It will provide a dignified, peaceful final resting place for any newborn that is abandoned in Florida, tragically resulting in their death. It is our hope and prayer that we never have to place an innocent child in this garden.
Direct Financial Assistance:
Limited financial assistance is provided in extreme emergencies. We have provided direct financial assistance to desperate pregnant girls/women in crisis for:
- Legal assistance
- Baby related items
- Burial Services for abandoned infants
- Information Resource located on the “Safe Haven” web site.
- We maintain a state approved list of Safe Haven Adoption Agencies.
- Adoption referrals, if requested, when a mother chooses not to utilize the confidential Safe Haven option.
Provide referral services before and after the birth of the child.
To ensure the safety of the mother and child, these calls are treated with the utmost urgency as we coordinate with the appropriate facility.
Provide education and Safe Haven resources to pregnant girls/women considering the Safe Haven option, wanting to know more about the program or are all alone and just do not know what to do.
“Safe Haven” 24/’7 multilingual referral helpline:
Everyone is helped. All calls are confidential.
Primary Referral Resources: Healthy Start, Healthy Families, Clinics, Hospitals, Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Counselors, Homes/Shelters for pregnant girls/women and mothers.
Calls are received from all regions of the state – The callers have been as young as 13 years-old and as old as 38-years-old. The calls range from:
A pregnant 14-year-old girl and her mother calling seeking help.
- A 32 year old pregnant woman living in her car for three (3) weeks – She was shunned by her family.
- A 17-year-old high school student who was hiding her pregnancy and did not know what to do.
- A 19-year-old college student who was pregnant, no medical care and was due to give birth any day. We arranged for her to receive immediate medical attention then coordinated the “Safe Haven” process with the Hospital and offered her to receive counseling. She had a healthy baby girl. The baby was placed for adoption in a loving home. The young girl wrote us a letter thanking us, wanting us to tell the hospital how appreciative she was for their compassion, and not judging her.
- A 16-year-old girl who was pregnant but afraid to tell her mother because her brother who was younger than her had just fathered a child. She believed her mother would be further devastated by her situation and would reject her.
- A 19-year-old mother with her 5-month-old baby who was kicked out of her house, with no money, food or shelter – We arranged for her to stay at a motel in the Tampa area and paid the motel clerk to get her and her baby food. We found and she agreed to go to the Covenant House in Orlando who provides life skills and career assistance programs.
- Assisting mothers with the entire process of relinquishing their newborn to a hospital, Fire/EMS station and in some cases actually taking the child to one of these facilities ourselves.
- And much more…….
And this special story of one of the many Safe Haven babies saved:
The Safe Haven referral helpline received a call from a young mother with her two (2) day old baby girl – she wanted to know more about the "Safe Haven" program and needed help. She chose to leave her baby at a Fire Rescue “Safe Haven” Station. The helpline assisted her; the baby was then transported to a nearby hospital. The hospital then contacted an Adoption Agency for the baby to be placed with a family waiting to adopt.
Two (2) days later the biological mother called our helpline to thank them for their help but more importantly, she had two letters to give to the adoptive parents’ one for them and one for the baby when she grows up. We met the mother at a church, the meeting was very emotional and at the end, she gave us the two (2) letters. The main message to the child who is now called Gloria Hope was that: “You did not think I loved you because I gave you up but that is exactly why I did – I wanted you to have a future that I could not provide”. The adoptive parents chose to keep in touch with us and we talk to them and little Gloria Hope regularly. She is a beautiful child inside and out.
It takes statewide awareness that includes prevention, education and community involvement.
It also requires consistent community outreach and the establishment of partnerships, in both the public and private sectors, that promote and maintain a heightened level of awareness. This critical information is how pregnant girls and women in crisis are saved from devastating decisions that are life altering.
Our partnerships and network includes but is not limited to:
- Middle/High Schools
- Health Department
- Trade Schools
- Law Enforcement
- Adoption Agencies
- Crisis Pregnancy Centers
- Healthy Start Coalitions
- Healthy Families
- Department of Children & Families
- Religious Organizations
- Youth Groups
- Public sectors(city, county, state)
- Communities at large
- And much more .......
Media Participation (T.V., Radio, Print) includes –
- Public Service Announcements
- News Clips
- Initiate media events
Education and Community Awareness Outreach thru -
- Specific education, programs, videos and activities to reach out to the at risk population, 14-22 yo.
- Public awareness campaigns, programs and activities reaching out to the communities at large.
- Creation & distribution of Safe Haven collateral materials and promotional items.
- Participation in local community fairs and events.
- Providing “Safe Haven” signage for all 24/7 “Safe Haven” facilities.
- Active Speakers Bureau to increase public awareness and support.
- Creation & distribution of Educational videos and public service announcements.
- Awareness thru billboards, buses, bus benches and utilization of other mass transportation promotions.
- On-going presentations statewide in both the public and private sectors
- “Safe Haven” Training/Education for all 24/7 “Safe Havens” facilities.
- “Safe Haven” Training/Education for Law Enforcement agencies.
- Active and informative web site.
- Use of Internet social media networks.
Volunteers – Giving Back…………….
“A Safe Haven for Newborns” promotes community involvement; therefore, we have an active volunteer program for students to earn community service hours and non-students.
- General Office Activities
- Policies and Procedures
- County Chapter Coordinators
- Safe Haven Affiliates (other states/countries)
- Database updates
- Maintain Social Networks
- Fundraising Activities
- Grant Writing
- IT Services:
- Maintain Active Website
- Hardware updates/replacements
- Install, update software, etc.
- Maintain photo archiving
- Maintain media library
- Maintain and archive electronic filing system
- Special projects
All monies received are used to support the operations of “A Safe Haven for Newborns”. Fundraising activities include:
We sincerely appreciate the donation of professional services.
“Safe Haven” Statistics –
We maintain statistics as to the effectiveness of the program to include:
- Newborns saved under the law.
- Newborns abandoned in dangerous places.
- Geographic data.
- Demographic information regarding the newborns.
“Safe Haven” Advocacy –
- Continue the advocacy for the “Safe Haven” law and related issues.
- Extend the Safe Haven program to other states and countries as requested.
The Future –
Our goal is to attain Self Suffiency and long term organizational Sustainability.
The plan includes an on-going fundraising program that will sustain the organization’s future operations. Web based fundraising software will be used, numerous fundraising activities will be developed and implemented throughout the year, promotional materials will be developed, grant opportunities will be identified and a Safe Haven donors club database will be developed and maintained.
The Gloria M. Silverio Foundation is also planning to launch a capital campaign to:
Build “Gloria’s Home” a facility to house a minum of ten (`10) girls and women.
The program will offer:
- Transitional living
- Parenting skills
- Independent life skills
- Employment readiness skills
- Mentoring program – during and after leaving facility
Many babies have been saved who now have a future and many pregnant girls and women have been assisted in their time of crisis….
What is the value placed on a life: a child’s future and the impact that child will have on eternity? TAMUD: “Whoever saves a single life is as if they saved the entire world.”
We believed from the beginning, if we saved only one life, all of our efforts would truly be worthwhile.
Follow us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/safehavenfornewborns and Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/haven4newborns.
Please consider supporting our mission of saving precious, innocent lives.
Our mission continues.