It started out as an uneventful Father's Day morning at a South Florida
fire station, but that all changed when the doorbell rang. There stood a
young women looking exhausted and frightened. Her face was streaked with
tears. She was holding something in her arms very tightly, wrapped in a
nice blanket. She said, "I want to leave her in a 'Safe Haven.'" The
Firefighter said, "Are you sure?" And she replied, "Yes, it is the only
way. Please take good care of her." She placed the baby in his arms,
then turned and left.
For the past 13 years, The Gloria M. Silverio Foundation, "A Safe Haven
for Newborns," focused on saving unwanted newborns. They make sure new
mothers know they have an option and can leave them with someone at a
Safe Haven: any hospital, 24/7 staffed fire rescue station or staffed
emergency medical service station, with no questions asked, totally
anonymous and free from fear of prosecution.
The organization now has a chance to reach more people and potentially
save more lives as it officially embarks on a new statewide public
awareness campaign, thanks to a $250,000 state grant.
Lt. Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera, Senator Rene Garcia, Fire Department
officials and a group of about 30 A Safe Haven supporters gathered at a
Fire Station in Doral, Florida, on Tuesday to kick off the new campaign.
Senator Rene Garcia championed the cause for the grant in the State
"A Safe Haven saves the lives of newborns and also empowers mothers who
are at a vulnerable time in their lives. The monies allocated from the
State will promote more public awareness to their services and
strengthen families," said Garcia.
Floridians will now be seeing more billboards, public service
announcements, media appearances and greater use of social media as Safe
Haven heightens its information campaign by getting its message out to
both the at-risk population and the community at large.
Nick Silverio, the founder of A Safe Haven for Newborns, named this
effort, in saving the lives of the most innocent and helpless among us,
after his wife of 32 years, Gloria, who died tragically in a car
accident caused by a speeding driver in 1999. So, it wasn't a total
coincidence that the baby, who was left at that fire station 11 years
ago, was named Gloria Hope by the firefighters.
"`A Safe Haven for Newborns' is offered to everyone, but this public
awareness effort will be focused on reaching young women across Florida,
who are hiding their pregnancy and are at risk of abandoning their
unwanted newborn," said Silverio.
Gloria Hope is now 11 years old, loves to read and has many friends. She
recently told Silverio, "Uncle Nick, I am on the honor roll, I have all
A's and one B."
"We know there is still so much more to do. We will not stop until we
eliminate infant abandonment, giving every child a chance at a future,"
About The Gloria M. Silverio Foundation - "Safe
Haven for Newborns"
"Safe Haven" is a safety net for both the mother and the newborn. It
allows mothers, fathers or whoever is in possession of an unharmed
newborn, approximately seven days old or less, to leave them with
someone at Safe Havens: any hospital, 24/7 staffed fire rescue station,
or staffed emergency medical service station, with no questions asked,
totally anonymous, free from fear of prosecution. The hospital will
contact a participating private adoption agency, which will then arrange
placement of the newborn with a waiting family.
"A Safe Haven for Newborns" is dedicated to reaching pregnant girls and
mothers before they reach the crisis stage. We assist them as they are
reaching a decision that will be in the best interest of their baby and
themselves, whether with counseling, parenting, health related issues
adoption or confidentially placing their newborn with a "Safe Haven.
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