The NYSAMT Children of Hope Foundation was founded in 1998 to save as many newborns from abandonment as possible. We are doing this through our “Newborn Safe Haven Program.” This is achieved by providing the birthmothers with confidential help and reassuring them that they are not alone in their personal crisis. As we enters our 13th year, we are celebrating these and many other accomplishments that prevented the death of over 2,883 newborns.
Our organization remains “grassroots” in the sense that we are still an all volunteer nonprofit — but our force has expanded to include more than 200 dedicated volunteers. To operate, we rely on the generosity of caring donors as well as funds raised through several events we host throughout the year from golf outings to dinner dances to bingo nights. Looking forward, we must aggressively attract more major donors and expand fundraising efforts to achieve the critical goal of preventing unsafe abandonments and unnecessary infant deaths.
2. Why is this cause important to you? Do you have a personal connection?
In 1998 within a period of a few weeks, I had responded to heart breaking calls that has change my life forever. The first of those calls was for a baby that was drowned in a toilet bowl in the Hempstead court house. Three weeks later it was a call for a baby not breathing left in a bag on the side of an office building in Albertson. Only two weeks later, I was called to respond for a baby that was shoved into a plastic bag and unearthed by a dog. Only two weeks after that, it was a baby not breathing found in a recycling bin in Cedarhurst.
It was all too much, even as a seasoned medical technician with 36 years experience. I knew I had to do something. So, I decided to research infanticide and soon discovered that a woman could not legally give birth to a baby and leave that baby safely in a hospital or with someone without be charged with abandonment, endangering the welfare of a child, and child neglect, all felony charges that could result in a four year jail term. This had to change!!!!
3. Of all your work here at charity, what are you most proud of?
The fight for me has been a long and difficult one, filled with a sense of accomplishment
The fact so many newborn infants have been adopted to loving families and I have been invited
to their baptisms makes me feel it is all worth it.
4. Thinking back on your work in the past year(s), were there any memorable moments? Perhaps a time when you got a little choked up?
On Good Friday 2011. I was having breakfasts with his wife when the crisis center in Ohio contacted me. They had a woman in labor on the telephone. The call was transferred to me I've had five previous telephone births. Within one and a half hours, the labor was over and the baby born.
The birth mother put her telephone of speaker, and I talked her through the birthing process. I directed her to get towels, sheets and some string to tie off the umbilical cord, all the while trying to convince her to get some help. She continued to refuse. I then described how she could tell if the baby was crowning. She said she felt the baby’s head and he told her to start pushing. After the third heavy contraction, the baby was born. Following my directions for cutting the cord, the mother then cleared the baby’s mouth with her finger, and baby started crying “loud and clear”. I was elated. “I explained to her to put the baby in the towel and keep him warm and then she had to deliver the placenta next. After 15 minutes, the mother expelled the placenta, and described it to me in full detail. This is done to see if any tears or any materials still left inside of her. The birth mother then rested for about 25 minutes, all the time keeping in telephone contact with me, I kept trying to convince her to let someone come and care for her. The mother kept refusing, and after I was convinced it was safe for her, she agreed to get into her car and bring the baby to a local hospital.
Meanwhile, I had to inform the staff at the hospital as to the detailsand requirements of the law. Soon after, the mother arrived at the hospital and the baby was handed over to the medical staff. Despite my pleas, the mother refused to stay. She did agree to keep in contact with me, and called me back several times. She also called on Saturday and Sunday mornings and told him she was sore but doing well. She agreed to take vitamins but would not take an antibiotic.
5. What keeps you going? What helps you get up every morning to do this work?
When the day is over, I know that my battle that had started years ago, was one that was worth
fighting. I had saved another infants, who otherwise might not have been able to go on to live a
6. If you could talk to donors and tell them why their support is important, what would you say?
Their support will aide our efforts to target several audiences. For the Safe Haven law to truly make an impact here it is crucial that every member of our police forces be educated on its specifics. Likewise, all members of our fire departments as well as hospital staffs must understand how this law works and what their role is, should they be approached by someone wishing to safely relinquish a newborn. Since the law allows for an infant to be left with “anyresponsible individual,” the public at large must also be aware of this law and what to do in this situation. Educators must also be trained to enlighten junior high, high school and college students about the Safe Haven alternative, why it is so important and how it works. So with your support "YOU" can Save a life.
7. What has changed since you first started? Is it harder, easier? How has the organization responded to that change?
In 1998, we celebrated an important milestone when my Safe Haven bill was passed in Texas. This law changed everything. It provides individuals in crisis with an option to safely relinquish an infant at a hospital, fire station or police station or with any responsible individual with no legal repercussions and no questions asked. As president of the National Safe Haven Alliance
in Washington D.C. I authored other bill and had been working diligently to see that the law is passed in every state throughout our nation.
I am pleased to state that all 50 states have implemented Safe Haven legislation. In addition to our legislative efforts, NYSAMT Children of Hope Foundation also operates a 24/7 emergency hotline to offer assistance to individuals in crisis who are pregnant and have nowhere to turn. Every year since the hotline was established in 1999, we receive more and more calls. In 2011, we received 2,015. Callers have ranged in age from 11 to 46 and each story is unique. We provide support in many ways based on each individual’s situation, whether it is assisting them in delivering a baby; linking them to appropriate social services so they have the resources they need to parent their child; counseling them to share their situation with parents and/or other relatives; implementing their rights under the Safe Haven law to anonymously relinquish an infant; or educating them about how to make an adoption plan if they choose to. We will continue to respond to the changing needs of the time.
8. If you were able to sit down with Bill Gates and tell him why he should consider making a donation to your charity, what would you say?
"Bill, It's worth the investment. The children are our future".
9. Can you tell us about a case in which your charity made a difference?
Every case makes a difference. Even in death a difference is made.
10. Is there anything that I haven't asked you, that you would like to address?
Our goal is to reduce the number of infant deaths resulting from crisis pregnancies and abandonment to zero. Your contributions, attendance at our fundraising events and efforts to spread the word about the Baby Safe Haven Law are making this possible. In fact, 100 percent of your donation directly supports programs to prevent infant abandonment and provide care for those in need. Thank you again for your generous contribution and God bless you.
September 03, 2012
NYSCOH Safe Haven Announces: 10th Baby in 2012 Relinquished Under Baby Safe Haven Law in New York State Mineola, NY – NCPD Safe Haven Coordinator Timothy Jaccard President/Director of the New York State AMT Children of Hope Foundation/Baby Safe Haven Program announced today that the 10th baby this year was relinquished over the Labor Day weekend at NSLIJ Manhasset Hospital, Manhasset New York.
The baby girl was born at approximately 3:00 a.m. on September 01, 2012 and appears to be healthy. The mother of the baby contacted the Safe Haven Hotline (1-877-796-HOPE) sometime on Thursday, August 30, 2012. Director Tim Jaccard received a call from NSLIJ Supervising Social Worker, Laura Marriott on Friday, August 31st stating that a birthmother was at the hospital and wanted to made arrangements to relinquish her baby anonymously.
“The Safe Haven law provides a safe alternative for mothers who are frightened and feel they have nowhere else to turn. The message is simple: if you truly feel that you cannot care for your baby, you have options. Find a Safe Haven location and put your baby into safe and caring arms,” said Timothy Jaccard. “New York is committed to the health and welfare of newborns and we are continuing to lead our support to this important program throughout the nation.”
New York law allows a mother who believes she cannot care for her baby to legally leave the newborn at a number of locations, including police precincts, firehouses, hospitals, churches or with any responsible adult willing to accept the baby and call proper authorities. Over the past decade, safe haven laws have been adopted in all 50 states and over 2,883 babies have been safely relinquished.
The AMT Children of Hope Foundation was founded in 1998 in response to a number of abandoned, deceased infants discovered in the community. The organization — comprised of members of the Nassau County Police Department, AMTs, local healthcare workers and civilians — provides dignified burials for innocent children lost to unsafe abandonment, and is committed to putting an end to such tragedies.
The AMT Children of Hope Foundation operates a 24/7 emergency hotline (1-877-796-HOPE) to offer assistance to individuals in crisis who are pregnant and have nowhere to turn. In 2011, the hotline received 2,015 calls and in 2012 the hotline received 1,890 calls to date.
Link - http://www.amtchildrenofhope.com/