PHASE 1 – COMPLETE
The Baby Boxes Have Arrived! All 140 of them. It was a year long fundraising effort in 2016 to raise $4200. We were actually able to get the boxes complete with mattress, cover, sheet, and baby university cards for $3475! The remaining funds will go towards completing Phase 2. We would like to thank the following people and organizations for helping us reach this important first step:
|William R Baker||Michele Vasquez||Maggie Ardiente||Jennifer D Shears|
|Karyn B Griffin||Lee Salisbury||Andrew Timothy Gray||Bruce Wall|
|Carrie Henson||Jan Wallace||Bob Lamb||Mike Crawford|
|Kenai Peninsula Foundation||Alaska Advanced Care Chiropractic||American Humanist Association||Alaska Berries|
|and those that wish to remain anonymous|
PHASE 2 – COMPLETE
Helpful items were added to the boxes to make sure mom and baby had everything they needed to have a great start to life. Each box with all items included was valued at $150. We finished filling the boxes in July of 2018
The items that were included in the boxes were as follows…
|2 Onesies||Diapers||Sleepsack Swaddle||2 Washcloths||Wash Kit||Terry Cloth Bib|
|Burp Cloths||Terry Cloth Bib||Mittens||Pacifier||Newborn Cap||Washcloths|
|Lovey(Comfort Object)||10 Condoms||Sleeper Outfit||Board Book||Parenting Book||Health Care Kit|
|Bra Pad Kit||Pair of Socks||Pacifiers||Maternity Pads||Baby Wipes|
The boxes arrived in a flatten state for shipping. This means that all 140 boxes need to be assembled. We hosted build-a-box parties once a month to receive donated items, deliver boxes to the hospital, and construct more boxes.
PHASE 3 – COMPLETE
128 Sleep Safe Baby Boxes were delivered to Central Peninsula Hospital between January – July of 2018. New mothers were given the choice to take a box if it is needed and they were required to learn about sleep safe safety before taking one home. The remaining 12 boxes were given to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Students in Transition program for teen mothers at the Kenai Alternative School.
HISTORY OF OUR BABY BOX PROGRAM
We first got the idea after reading an article about Finland’s National Baby Box program and thought what a great idea. There was several things we loved about it…Introducing Last Frontier Freethinkers first charitable endeavor, the Baby Boxes Campaign.
- It drastically decreased the infant mortality rate in Finland.
- It promoted the kind of social responsibility that Humanist’s advocate for in this country.
- It would be a great way to get the whole community involved and learn that there are Humanists on the Kenai Peninsula and more importantly that Humanists care.
- What is more fun than filling a box with baby things? Probably getting a free box filled with baby things!
In Finland every new baby gets a free baby box or a stipend. 90% of the parents choose the box. Why? Oh my gosh, what a great rite of passage and what stood out the most was that the families said it really made them feel like their country cared for their family. What a brilliant concept. We would be hard pressed to find a family in America that felt that way about the federal government. We want our community to feel that way about Last Frontier Freethinkers.
We did some research and this is what we found…
- Getting the same boxes from Finland would not be cost effective but there was another company called The Baby Box Co that took the 75 year old concept from Finland and made it affordable for expectant parents around the world and at a wholesale price for non-profits wanting to spread the mission of “every mother counts and every baby should have a great start to life.”
- Approximately 700 babies are born on the Kenai Peninsula each year.
- The Kenai Peninsula’s infant death rate is 3.9 per 1,000 births which is lower than the national average of 5.87 but higher than Finland’s rate of 2.52.
- 16% of the infant deaths on the Kenai Peninsula are caused by Sudden Infant Death Syndrome; second only to birth defects.
- 36% of new mothers on the Kenai Peninsula are without support.
- 21% of new mothers on the Kenai Peninsula are on Public Assistance (approx. 140)
- 44.5 births out of 1,000 on the Kenai Peninsula are from women ages 15-19
- These at risk women are often transient with no crib therefore the baby ends up sleeping unsafely with mom, on the couch, or in a drawer.
Based on this information we decided to start with 140 boxes to cover all our at risk mom’s on the Kenai Peninsula for one year. Central Peninsula Hospital has decided to continue the program after all of our boxes have been distributed although the future boxes will not be filled with all the extra items.