A 5-hour old newborn baby girl, who was abandoned on a Philadelphia sidewalk, was found safe this past weekend.
The baby was rescued after being discovered in a cardboard box. She was almost mistaken for everyday trash before her immediate rescue.
Homer Keller, an employee of the church, was tending to his cleaning duties outside the Church. He prepared to throw the box out with the rest of the garbage, when a sound suddenly caught his attention.
Keller spoke to ABC News' Philadelphia affiliate WPVI about the ensuing events. "I heard a little sound like a baby or kitten or something," he told them. "I thought it was a kitten, and then I pulled over the cover back off of it, and it was a baby." Keller immediately called 911 and waited for paramedics to arrive.
Police said the baby was "wrapped in a red and white hounds-tooth patterned blanket, an adult-sized brown women's sweater, black bathrobe with polka dots and a large peach colored towel."
The newborn baby girl was rushed to the hospital. Doctors there soon determined that she was unharmed and in good condition, even though she was only a few hours old and weighed only 5.5 pounds.
The Philadelphia Department of Human Services stated that the baby would be in the hospital for "several more days."
Local Philadelphia police and nurses blessed the newborn with her new nickname, "Baby Noel." She is currently in stable condition at St. Christopher's Hospital for Children. "She's in really good condition. We're very fortunate with the timing, weather and the church finding the baby," Philadelphia Police spokesman Ray Evers told ABCNews.com. "We had a lot of things that fell into place. If it was any closer, the baby would have been thrown out with the trash. It was scary close."
Police are now seeking assistance form the public in searching for the mother. The infant was initially found in the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood.
"We don't have anything solid yet," Evers continued. "We're looking for anyone that knew of a woman that was pregnant in the neighborhood and isn't anymore to give us a call."
The story of Baby Noel has attracted the attention of many across the nation. "May the good Lord protect and keep her all the days of her life. I pray that whoever gets this precious gift will treat her with love and respect," said YahooNews.com commenter Sally.
"I am sooo sick and tired of these ‘moms’ abandoning their babies when there are too many persons out there who would be willing to give the babies a home!," said ABCNews.com commenter Cindy. "One, use birth control. Two, if it is rape, give the child up for adoption. There is absolutely NO EXCUSE for doing what you have done to an innocent child! NONE!"
"We already have families who have been screened and foster families who want to adopt," Philadelphia Department of Human Services spokeswoman Alicia Taylor told ABCNews.com. "People calling today will not be able to get this baby, but we have a lot of other children who also need families."
Baby Noel will be placed in a foster home if her real parents don't appear to claim the child. "I don't want to judge anybody," Homer Keller said. "I'm just glad the little girl is alive."