Tina McGrady | [email protected]
In the two short years that Denise Maxwell served as Indiana State Representative for the National Safe Haven Alliance, she accomplished a lot.
Since joining the alliance in July 2019, Maxwell has worked to find funding, found sponsorships for numerous fire departments and launched an education campaign in the community and surrounding towns on the Safe Law. Haven.
The Safe Haven Act allows a parent to anonymously hand over their safe child to a designated provider without fear of arrest or prosecution within a specified time after birth. In Indiana, this period is 30 days.
Maxwell was recently recognized as the 2021 National Safe Haven Alliance Volunteer of the Year, and now she has been selected as a Shining Star Journal.
Debi Scruggs, who nominated Maxwell for the local award, said the Darlington resident “hit the ground running”.
Scruggs said Maxwell has consistently engaged with Safe Haven vendors and the community through awareness campaigns, vendor training, local media, social media, fundraising, awareness and outreach. education of pregnancy centers, etc.
“It has extended its reach across state and to state agencies to increase the support needed for parents in crisis,” added Scruggs.
“She is the first to volunteer for NSHA projects, asking how she can help and has attended several leadership and nonprofit conferences to increase her impact and provide support to the organization,” said said Scruggs. “Her initiative to move forward even during COVID has allowed her to become inventive in the way she has carried out outreach, which has helped develop relationships that are enthusiastic about partnering and support the efforts of Safe Haven. She is very committed and dedicated to the mission of the NSHA and we are very fortunate to have her on our team.
Even in retirement, Maxwell knew she wanted to give back to the community and she truly loved the mission of the NSHA.
“I really saw a great need for it in Indiana,” she said. “There are more abandoned babies in Indiana than people realize. There is a real need for this support and safe options for these women and their children.
Maxwell said his experience has been very enriching and very humbling.
Her goal is to continue to spread the word, “not just to moms, but to dads too, they need to know they have a choice.”
Maxwell hopes to share information about the program with schools, teachers and frontline workers.
“There have been changes in the law,” she said. “Now mothers can call 911 and have someone pick up the child, and if the mother needs help, she can get it as well. I just want to make sure everyone understands the shelter law and uses it when needed. “
Maxwell also wants to be sure that every community in Indiana receives information about the law and the program.
“When I first got involved I met Mayor Todd Barton and got him involved and the town of Crawfordsville,” she said. “We, of course, were very fortunate to already have a strong health and wellness network in place. And I had the support of Karen Branch with the Youth Service Bureau … our community has really played a big part.
For more information on Safe Haven laws, visit nationalsafehavenalliance.org.