Senior hopes to fund Columbus’ first Safe Haven baby box at a local fire station

A Columbus North High School senior is working on a senior project to purchase and install Columbus’ first Safe Haven baby box at a local fire station.

Hunter Wart has set a goal of raising $10,000 for a baby box to be installed at Fire Station No. 3, 80 S. Gladstone Ave.

To raise funds for the project, Wart began collecting aluminum cans, car batteries and scrap metal that can be recycled.

Safe Haven baby boxes installed at fire stations allow an individual to surrender a newborn baby in a box that opens from the station’s exterior wall, which automatically locks and alerts firefighters that the newborn is there. Since fire stations are manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the boxes provide a safe way for adults to surrender infants.

Wart, 17, said he came up with the idea after hearing about a newborn baby being placed in a baby box at a Michigan City fire station.

After discussing the idea with his mother, Julie Kwasniewski, he decided to do his senior project on having one installed in Columbus.

Wart plans to meet with Columbus Mayor Jim Lienhoop Aug. 2 at Columbus City Hall to talk about his proposal. He is also planning to discuss the proposal with Fire Chief Mike Compton.

For more on this story, see Friday’s Republic.