the PA Child Identification Program
The Masonic CHIP
Program is the most comprehensive service of its kind anywhere. CHIP
is provided free of charge to the public, though most families make a donation
to help continue the program for other families.
All of the identifying
items generated during CHIP are given to the child's family.
Identification Program (CHIP) addresses the alarming fact
that over 1,000,000 children are reported missing in the United States each
year. While most are found, many are not, and the abduction of children is
both under-reported and rapidly increasing in our society. CHIP provides
parents and guardians the means to quickly get vital information to emergency
responders. The digital video and digital still photo on the mini
CD is compatible with the Pennsylvania Amber Alert System.
The CHIP program
is for ANY child in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The Grand
Lodge of Pennsylvania will conduct the program in communities when
scheduled by the local Lodges.
Does It Cost?
The CHIP program
is provided, FREE of charge.
Pays For This?
We are currently able
to supply the CHIP identification materials for under $2.00 per kit.
Your generous tax deductible contributions to the PA Masonic YouthFoundation
and the CHIP program will help our volunteers reach more children
Is Given To The Parents?
materials gathered in the CHIP Program are given to the parents. Only
the permission slip is kept by the program providers. NO identification
information is kept, copied, or given to any governmental authority, unless
the parent or guardian chooses to do so in an emergency. The key
components of the program include the following:
CD Video and digital
still photograph: A digital video is recorded in which children are asked
a series of questions while standing in front of a height chart backdrop.
The CHIP interview captures the appearance, speech, mannerisms, and other
important personal characteristics of a child. It can be quickly distributed
via the media to reach a huge audience and assist in the quick recovery of
a missing child. Additionally, a still photograph is taken for fast and easy
distribution by e-mail in case of emergency. The video and photograph are
recorded onto a 3" mini CD and given only to the parent or guardian. It is
the cornerstone of the CHIP program.
Children's fingerprints are taken in the traditional manner, using inkless
print pads, to provide clear and readable prints. Fingerprint cards are given
to the parent or guardian.
DNA: A DNA kit
is provided to the parent or guardian to be completed at home as soon as
possible. The DNA kit includes plastic "zipper" bags for 1. hair samples,
2. nail clippings, and 3. oral swab for saliva sample.
A CHIP Event
Anyone may initiate a
CHIP event by contacting the local District Deputy Grand Master. All
coordination of events is through the Masons of Pennsylvania, and all events
are sponsored by the Grand Lodge or by a local community Lodge. If you or
your organization would like more information regarding CHIP, please
contact the District Deputy Grand Master of your Masonic District, or the
Masonic Youth Foundation.
Planning And Logistics
In order to provide the
program materials and cameras to the scheduled sites, as needed, it is essential
the all requests for CHIP Program dates be submitted through the local
District Deputy Grand Master.
The CHIP Team will
coordinate the gathering of people materials, supplies, and cameras to be
sent to each CHIP event, and to maximize the number of events that
can be supported. They will also arrange for training of key local volunteers,
press releases, internet promotion, and the creation of customized posters
and flyers, and may also assist in locating volunteers to work with
A CHIP Program
After you have read all
the information above, you may wish to request a CHIP Program for
your school or organization. All Masonic organizations should contact their
local District Deputy Grand Master to make arrangements. If you are not a
member of the Masonic Fraternity, you can
PA Masonic Youth Foundation for details. Please submit no less than a
minimum of 8-10 weeks prior to your planned event to allow us time to arrange
for volunteers, cameras, and supplies.