Tragedy drives man to give ‘haven’ to thousands of babies

In this Dec. 12, 2016 photo, Tim Jaccard stands in front of a trailer in Wantagh, N.Y., that advertises a hotline where mothers can call to arrange to safely relinquish babies they are unwilling or unable to care for, to a responsible party. The retired ambulance medic lobbied legislatures across the country to pass so-called "Safe Haven" laws in all 50 states. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman)

LEVITTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Nearly 3,300 babies across the country who otherwise might have been abandoned and perhaps died have found homes in the past 17 years.

That’s partly due to the efforts of a retired New York police ambulance medic who grew weary of the heartbreaking task of responding to calls of dead infants.

Tim Jaccard (JUH-card) lobbied lawmakers in all 50 states to pass “Safe Haven” laws allowing mothers in crisis to leave their babies at fire houses, police stations and hospitals. He also founded an organization that acts as a go-between in drop-offs to make them safe.

The holiday season often sees an uptick in such drop-offs.

In one memorable case from last year, a healthy newborn boy was left the manger of a Nativity scene at New York City church.