April 22, 2021
The Sanford Children’s Safety Center is on a mission to make sure every family leaves safer than when they arrived. Gifts through the Sanford Health Foundation help make that goal a reality.
“It’s a beautiful program,” said Elizabeth Oestreich, manager of Sanford Children’s community programs including the Safety Center and Safe Kids Fargo-Moorhead. “We help the whole community and are the only car seat inspection program in the Fargo-Moorhead region. We want to help as many kids as we can.”
Along with offering free car seat inspections and safety devices for purchase, five full-time staff members provide essential safety education including sports safety, fire prevention and parenting classes. The program has grown exponentially over the past seven years since Elizabeth started as the only employee, working just part-time.
The Safety Center’s growth has been assisted by generous donations through the Foundation. Dr. Scott and Heidi Engum are proud to count themselves among those who give to support the program. Their personal goal has been to provide car seats and bike helmets to families who can’t afford the retail cost.
“If we can prevent one injury, that makes our support worth it,” Dr. Engum told us. “It’s so nice to know we are helping provide something that people truly need,” Heidi added.
As a pediatric surgeon, Dr. Engum has seen countless preventable injuries. He wants to keep kids out of the operating room and safely secured in a car seat or biking down the street with a properly fit helmet.
“We’re so blessed to have Dr. Engum and Heidi as part of our Sanford Family,” Elizabeth said. “They have such huge hearts and preventing injury is their passion. They never want us to worry that we couldn’t help a family in need.”
Elizabeth estimates the Engums have helped provide more than 400 car seats at a discounted rate. Some families were recently in an accident, rendering their car seats unsafe. Others simply didn’t have the resources to purchase the proper size car seat for their children.
“Our goal is that no child will ever leave the Safety Center unsafe,” Elizabeth said. “Because of this support, when families leave, we can make everyone as safe as possible.”
The Engums started giving to the program several years ago, but recently created an endowment and estate plan with the goal of continuing to fund the service for many years to come. Currently, their giving focuses on car seats and helmets, but as technology changes, their generosity could be used for other safety equipment.
To support the Safety Center and other programs that improve the health and well-being of local kids, consider a gift to Sanford Children’s.
More about the Sanford Children’s Safety Center
The Safety Center is Fargo-Moorhead’s only permanent, year-round, full-service inspection station offering car seat safety checks, bike helmet inspections and safety supplies. Anyone can receive assistance at the Safety Center.
Child safety devices available for purchase:
- Car seats (free inspections)
- Bike helmets (free fittings)
- Fire extinguishers
- Infant sleep sacks
- Appliance locks and pinch guards
- Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
- Infant life jackets (under 30 pounds)
- Furniture and TV anti-tip wall straps
- Bathtub thermometers
For more information about car seat inspections, financial assistance and other Safety Center offerings, please call (701) 234-7233.