August 21, 2008

Masonic Lodge to Host MoCHIP Child ID Program in Memphis

With more than 50,000 children processed through the MoCHIP Child ID program in 2Ĺ years, MoCHIP is clearly a presence in the community and vows to remain so! Taking place Saturday, August 23, 2008, the Missouri Masonic Family will be on hand to future ensure the safety of area children Free Of Charge.

No parent wants to believe that the unimaginable could happen to them, though nearly 2,000 children are reported missing or abducted in the United States each day. The peace of mind MoCHIP provides to Missouri families is invaluable. Once the child is processed through the program, which generally takes only 15 minutes, the parent is armed with a single pre-printed envelope that instructs authorities in the event of an emergency, something a parent in crisis would undoubtedly have trouble with, and a proactive measure to combat the time sensitivity involved in recovery. Within a matter of minutes the MoCHIP CD can be loaded into a computer directly from a police officers automobile and entered into the Amber Alert system.

Deemed ďone of the most comprehensive child recovery and identification programs in the nation,Ē by The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children NEMC-the Missouri Masonic Child Identification & Protection Program, MoCHIP is solely sponsored by the Masonic Childrenís Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Masons. The program consists of five major components-digital photographs, digital fingerprints, vital child information and emergency contacts, a dental bite impression, and two laminated ID Cards. The photographs, fingerprints, and child data are burned onto a mini-CD that is compatible with the AMBER ALERT system already in place. The dental impression provides a virtual diagram of the childís biting surface, which, like fingerprints is unique to each individual, and further supplies enough saliva to provide a DNA sample that can also be used as scent source for trained canine search teams. Combined, this five-part process provides a dramatic, time-sensitive recovery tool for authorities.

On the day of the MoCHIP event, parents are urged to gather pertinent information about such as doctor, dentist, and emergency contact and phone numbers, allergies, medications, and parent work, cell, and assorted phone numbers. Information Collection Forms and Permission slips can be downloaded from the mochip.org Web site and filled out ahead of time. Height charts and scales are available at the event to facilitate the most current details regarding the child. As would be expected, security and privacy are of utmost importance. All information and specimens are collected on site, processed and provided to the parent or legal guardian in a yellow envelope. At the end of each event, databases are erased using state-of-the-art software. The only item retained by the Masonic Childrenís Foundation is the signed permission slip.

The MoCHIP program was adapted from the National Masonichip Foundation, and since its inception in August 2005, MoCHIP has quickly become the most successful and thorough of the ďCHIPĒ programs and Masonichips ďprototypeĒ for future state programs. Collectively the CHIP programs have processed more than 1,100,000 children throughout the United States.

Sponsoring Masonic Lodge, Memphis Lodge #16 will be holding the event Saturday, August 23, at 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Memphis Theatre on the north side of the square in Memphis.

For more information on becoming a corporate partner or to make a donation, contact MCF Coordinator, Nicholas R. Cichielo (636-530-6069, email nickcichielo@mochip.org) or visit the calendar on our web site www.mochip.org to locate future events in your area.

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