Hope’s Cradle: A second chance
By Gurleen Jassal, Contributor
Hope’s Cradle is an organization based in Calgary and it’s offering mothers in difficult circumstances a safe place to give up their newborns, acting as a lifeline. This initiative will be up and running in January 2024, being the first safe surrender site for Calgary.
The facility will be at Children’s Cottage Society’s new centre which is located in the neighbourhood of Montgomery in northwest Calgary.
Jordan Guilford is an individual who has a strong desire to help underprivileged women. Initially she started as a CEO at Gems for Gems, a jewelry drive for women that were survivors of domestic abuse.
As part of the leadership team for Hope’s Cradle, she has been instrumental in creating a program that gives moms in difficult situations a safe and considerate way to give up their babies. Guilford has a commitment to making sure every kid gets the chance to flourish and receives the care they need.
“Gems for Gem was founded in 2015 and started as a jewelry drive with women donating gently used jewelry to be cleaned and packaged and given on Christmas morning to survivors of domestic abuse and shelters. [We started] in Calgary, but now we have gone completely across Canada and we’ve now given over 22,000 gifts on Christmas morning,” Guilford explains.
During this initiative a program called Thrive was launched. The program was able to award scholarships to women as a way for survivors to attend trade schools and be on their own feet in a year’s worth of time.
As the pandemic hit, Guildford wanted to change her gears and help create an initiative that helped safe surrender for babies.
“We launched in 2021, in Strathmore, Alberta, and one in Ontario and Manitoba as well,” says Guilford. “January 2024, is when the Children’s Cottage [Society] will be operational.”
Hope’s Cradle at the Children’s Cottage Society is a building with a door to provide safe surrender for a child. The cradle has no cameras and allows a mother to safely surrender her child in a bassinet. Once the child is placed, a silent alarm is sounded for staff to come collect the baby.
The surrender site not only gives babies a new chance at life, but also some careful care instructions for the mother.
“There’s an envelope for her in there, which she will take and in the envelope there are postnatal physical and mental health resources,” Guildford explains. “There’s also a guided letter for the mother to be able to write her final words to the baby.”
Additionally, there is a medical form for the mother to fill out any medical history from her side or the father’s side.
After filling out the forms and letter, the envelope can be mailed to the location of the surrender with the pre-paid postage provided.
After the baby is placed and is safely in the care of Hope’s Cradle, the staff will collect the baby.
The alarm will also notify first responders, allowing an ambulance to come take the baby to the hospital. The baby will go through hospital procedures; including a check for sexual assault and abuse. Shortly after the infant will be placed for adoption.
Hope’s Cradle helps mothers in need provide a safe environment for their children. The initiative aspires to provide a better, brighter future, making a lasting effect for women in the community.