What could Masons and the Amber Alert possibly have in common? A new program called Masonchip.
Taking place in October, the Wellington District Masons will be on hand to further the safety of area children.
No parent wants to believe that the unimaginable could happen, even though nearly 55 children are reported missing to police in Ontario every day (164 every day in Canada).
According to Canada’s Our Missing Children network and Ontario Child Find, a current good quality photo is the single most effective tool in locating a missing child. Parents are encouraged to be prepared by assembling their child’s photos and vital information ahead of time.
Enter Masonchip Ontario (Child Identification Program)-deemed “one of the most comprehensive child recovery and identification programs in the nation” by The National Center for Exploited and Missing Children, brought to Ontario families by dedicated Masons, free of charge.
Sponsored by the Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. Of Canada in the Province of Ontario, the Masonchip program consists of five components: digital photographs; digital video; digital fingerprints; vital child information; and a dental bite impression or intra oral swab for DNA.
The photographs, video, fingerprints, and child data are burned onto a CD. That is compatible with Amber Alert.
The dental impression provides a virtual diagram of the child’s biting surface, which, like fingerprints, are unique to each individual and further supplies saliva to provide a DNA sample. Combined, this five part process provides a dramatic, time-sensitive recovery tool for authorities.
Parents are urged to gather pertinent information about their child prior to the event such as, emergency contact name, address and phone numbers, distinguishing marks and scars, allergies, medications, and parents work, cell, and other phone numbers, and the child’s height and weight. Security and privacy are of utmost importance. All information and specimens are collected on site, processed, and provided to the parent or guardian in an envelop – along with the sentiment of all Masonic volunteers. “We hope you never need to use it.”
After each child is processed, the data is deleted and erased from the computer, using state-of-the-art software. The only item retained by Masonchip Ontario is the signed permission slip.
The Masonic brethren of Ontario, and their volunteers, are pleased to offer this program to our communities.
The Lodge of Wellington Masonic District is the sponsor.
The event takes place on Oct. 11 at the Masonic Hall at the Erin Fair Grounds from 10am to 4pm, and on Oct, 18 at the PMD arena from 10am to 2pm.
For further information contact Masonchip Ontario program director Raymond L. Dobbs at 519-539 3669, or cell phone 519-537-4069, or email firstname.lastname@example.org).
The local contact is William M. Jones at 519-833-9148 or cell 416-540-2016, or email email@example.com.