The Missouri Masonic Children's Foundation, sponsored by Harold O. Grauel Lodge No. 672, will hold a free child identification program from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Wehrenberg Cape West 14 Cine. Last year's program provided child identification kits for more than 400 children.
According the FBI's National Crime Information Center, 85 percent to 90 percent of the 876,213 people reported missing to America's law enforcement agencies in 2000 were younger than 18. That means that 2,100 times per day, parents or primary care givers felt the disappearance was serious enough to call law enforcement.
Gathering information needed by law enforcement officials can be daunting, especially under duress. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children encourages parents to be prepared with their child's vital information ahead of time.
The child identification and recovery tool that parents receive at the program includes digital photographs and fingerprints, child information and emergency contacts, a dental bite impression and two laminated ID cards.
The digital photographs and fingerprints, child information and emergency contacts are given to the parent or guardian on a mini CD that is compatible with the Amber Alert program.
The dental bite impression, unique to each individual like fingerprints, collects enough saliva to provide a DNA sample and a source for a scent used by canine search and recovery teams.
Parents or guardians attending should expect the process to take about 45 minutes with no delays.
The Masonic Children's Foundation does not keep any of the information concerning the child other than a signed permission slip. Databases are erased at the end of each event.
Volunteers are needed to help at this event. Call Michael Perry at 576-7563, Jonathan Bremer at 339-5965 or Mason at 334-6734.
335-6611, extension 133