In August 2022, through her own generosity and by seeking partnerships with East Tennessee Foundation (ETF), the City of Knoxville, churches, community leaders, and fire stations, LaVerne Craig led the way in making Tennessee’s first Safe Haven Baby Box a reality. Thanks to Jim and LaVerne Craig’s recommendation for a generous grant from ETF’s Craig Foundation Fund, LaVerne’s tireless work to revise state law, and the work of many dedicated community leaders, this life-saving device has been installed at the Knoxville Fire Department Station 17, 4804 Western Ave.
Safe Haven Baby Boxes provide an option for those in crisis to surrender their newborn safely, securely, and anonymously. Installed in an exterior wall, the Baby Boxes are temperature-controlled, safe compartments at facilities where staff are trained to quickly respond 24-hours a day. Thanks to the Craigs and the many partners, this effort will also help raise awareness of Tennessee’s Safe Haven Law.
Jim and LaVerne Craig, as fundholders of the Craig Foundation Fund coupled with their generous hearts, hope, and persistence, continue to demonstrate the power of partnership and philanthropy.
From left to right: Traci Sisson, East Tennessee Foundation; Jim Craig; Monica Kelsey, Founder and CEO of Safe Haven Baby Boxes; and LaVerne Craig photographed on Friday, February 17, 2023, at the Blessing of the first Baby Box in Tennessee.
“It was important to me to change the Safe Haven Law to include Safe Haven Baby Boxes. Parents needed to have a safe, anonymous choice to surrender their babies in Tennessee. Nothing says it better than Safe Haven Baby Boxes slogan: No Shame, No Blame, No Name.” – LaVerne Craig