With hundreds of thousands of children processed through the MoCHIP Child ID program over the past 13 years, MoCHIP is clearly a presence in the community. 

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 —  with 11-to-21-year-old girls and boys statistically susceptible to become missing. 

 

Once the child is processed through the program, which generally takes merely 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 officer’s automobile and entered into the Amber Alert system. Deemed “one of the most comprehensive child recovery and identification programs in the nation,” by the National Center for Exploited and Missing Children  — the Missouri Masonic Child Identification and Protection Program, MoCHIP is solely sponsored by the Masonic Children’s Foundation of the Grand Lodge of Missouri Masons. 

 

The Missouri Masonic Family will be on hand Saturday, May 11 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Belle Masonic Lodge to further ensure the safety of the area’s children free of charge. The lodge is located at 206 E. 1st Street in Belle. The program consists of five 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 child’s 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 a 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; such as, doctor, dentist and emergency contact and phone numbers. In addition to allergies, medications and parents’ work, cell and assorted phone numbers.

 

Information Collection Forms and Permission slips can be downloaded from the mochip.org website 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 Children’s Foundation is the signed permission slip. 

 

For more information about the event call Donald H Vandegriffe at 573-578-3099 or visit www.mochip.org.