‘Unconditional Love’: Family raising funds for Safe Haven Baby Box in Greenfield

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GREENFIELD — The plan is to turn a family’s sorrow into something good to benefit babies and help save lives.

For 25 years Trisha Lynn (Faust) Dillman was a dedicated labor, delivery, neonatal nurse and administrative assistant at Community East Hospital. It was the “perfect job” for her loving and kind personality, her family says.

“Whether it was cuddling on all of the precious gifts from God or building relationships with so many of their parents that continued even years after their child had been born, Trish was never judgmental in any situation,” her mother Ginny Faust said. “She loved them all unconditionally.”

Trisha, 53, Greenfield, passed away on Jan. 7 due to complications from COVID. Her family says they had been looking for answers from God to help them turn their tragic loss into something positive.

The answer came when the family decided to partner the Life Choices Care Center to help raise the funds needed, some $15,000 to bring a Safe Haven Baby Box to the city of Greenfield.

While the family is still trying to work their way through the grieving process of losing Trisha, they wanted to turn their pain into something positive that Trisha would have supported.

“She loved those babies and the moms, and she actually saved lots of babies,” Ginny said. “This is something we can focus on because we need something to make things better.”

A Baby Box is a safety device for use under the state’s Safe Haven Law that legally permits a mother in crisis to safely, securely and anonymously surrender their baby if they are unable to care for their newborn.

The Baby Box is installed on an exterior wall of a designated fire station or hospital. It has an exterior door that automatically locks upon placement of a newborn inside the Baby Box, and an interior door which allows a medical staff member to secure the surrendered newborn from inside the designated building.

“The Safe Haven Baby Box should be non-controversial and honestly just a happy, comforting and incredible thing coming to our community,” said the executive director of Life Choices Care Center, Jillian Jarrett.

Officials with the city of Greenfield say once the funds have been raised the Baby Box will be installed at the Greenfield Fire Territory Station 2, located at 210 W. New Road, just west of State Street.

“This will be so meaningful to us as Trish lived in Greenfield as does most of our family, and she has some very close family members who are also firefighters in Greenfield,” Ginny said.

Trisha’s brother, Chris Faust, is a division chief for the GFT and works from out of the station in downtown Greenfield. However his son, and Ginny’s grandson Isiah Faust, along with another grandson, Jimmy Burns, are also local firefighters and work at the station where the baby box is planned to be installed.

Brian Lott, chief of the GFT, noted it’s important to give mothers an option if they feel overwhelmed with a baby to have a safe place to anonymously have someone take care of their baby.

“Fire stations across the country are a natural place to have Safe Haven Baby Boxes because we have medical personnel on station,” Lott said. “It’s an honor to partner with the Faust family honoring their daughter Trisha that worked for over 25 years with mothers and babies at Community East.”

The county already has a Baby Box that was installed in Fortville in October 2019. The station became the first location in Hancock County and the 14th in Indiana to get a Safe Haven Baby Box. Advocates and supporters say the boxes give desperate mothers a safe way to exercise their legal right to anonymously give up their babies without fear of arrest or prosecution.

The Baby Box was part of the plans in 2018 when officials built the $4.25 million Vernon Township Fire Station No. 3, 600 Vitality Drive, Fortville, which is now staffed 24/7.

Indiana’s Safe Haven Law, passed in 2000, allows a person to anonymously surrender an unwanted infant no more than 30 days old without fear of arrest or prosecution. The person is not required to provide any information as long as there are no signs of intentional abuse. Once the baby is examined and given any needed medical treatment, the Indiana Department of Child Services takes the baby into custody before placing the baby with a caregiver.

All 50 states have safe haven laws.

“We have all questioned ‘why’ many times since Trisha was called home, but we must wonder that this new mission that we are set to embark on is the answer to that ‘why,’” Ginny said.

Anyone wishing to help the family raise the funds can do so by sending money to Safe Haven Baby Box, P.O. Box 185, Woodburn, IN 46797. Please add c/o Greenfield Baby Box to the memo line so the money will go to the correct fund. Electronic payments can be made by visiting shbb/org.

Once on the site, go to the donate button. Once all the request information is completed there will be an “additional details” at the bottom. That’s where donations need to be made out to c/o Greenfield Baby Box. Anyone with further questions may contact Ginny Faust at 317-797-5848.

How to donate for the Greenfield Safe Haven Baby Box

Checks and money orders should be sent to Safe Haven Baby Box, P.O. Box 185, Woodburn, IN 46797. Please add “c/o Greenfield Baby Box” to the memo line so the money will go to the correct fund.

Electronic payments can be made by visiting shbb/org. Click donate button. Once all the request information is completed there will be an “additional details” at the bottom. That’s where donations need to be made out to c/o Greenfield Baby Box.

Anyone with further questions may contact Ginny Faust at 317-797-5848.

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