South County Mail, Rogersville, MO
Masons help parents with MoCHIP
Monday, July 9, 2012
By Emily Truscott
For many parents, the sudden disappearance of a child is unthinkable. But if the unthinkable should happen, families who have gone through the Missouri Masonic Children’s Foundation’s MoCHIP can quickly give law enforcement the information needed to find their children.
The free service — Missouri Child Identification Program — compiles a child’s vital information in an envelope for parents to keep. Currently, more than 150,000 children in Missouri have gone through the program, and when it’s been used, it’s worked.
“There’s been eight times this program has been put into use,” said Dale Roller. “It’s always worked.”
Saturday, June 23, volunteers with the Henderson Masonic Lodge in Rogersville worked with local parents and their children to compile the information. In about 15 minutes, a parent left with an envelope containing a computer disk, ID cards and a toothprint impression. On the disk is the child’s vital information, description, photographs and fingerprints.
Roller pointed to the computers used to compile the information and burn the disk, noting the gray server that stores information.
“Before we walk out of here, it’s erased,” he said, explaining the Masons do not keep any of the information, so if a parent loses the packet, he or she would have to do the entire thing over again.
“Parents should update these every two years,” Roller added.
Roller also explained the acronym MoCHIP sometimes makes people think the program does microchip implants, which is not the case.
“There is no implant on the children,” he emphasized.
The Masons have six teams throughout the state that conduct these programs at neighborhood lodges.
For more information, visit www.mochip.org.