A parent's worst nightmare is the disappearance of a child. Statistics demonstrate that a child is reported missing in the U.S. alone every 43 seconds. With well over one million children being reported missing each year in the U.S., child identification programs are needed to assist authorities in finding and returning children to their homes. The Georgia Freemasons are committed to helping address this problem.
Freemasons have long been committed to children and families through our scholarship and student assistance programs, children's learning centers, Masonic Homes for Children, and sponsorship of various youth groups. In 2007, the Georgia Freemasons launched pioneered a groundbreaking child identification program called the Georgia Child Identification Program (GA CHIP). Whereas many other child identification programs consist of a single photo and fingerprinting, GA CHIP adds video interviews and dental imprints ("toothprints"). Toothprints is a technique developed by David Tesini, a Massachusetts children's dentist, and incorporated into GA CHIP by Dr. David Harte, a Massachusetts Freemason. These additions make GA CHIP the most comprehensive child identification program available in the United States; and all at absolutely no cost to the children or their families.
GA CHIP is designed to provide families a measure of protection against the ever-increasing threat of missing children and offer important tools to assist in the speedy and safe recovery of a missing child. Through the benevolence of the Grand Lodge of Georgia and its membership, we are pleased to present this service free of charge to children and their families and are committed to offering GA CHIP on an ongoing basis.
GA CHIP is part of MasoniCHIP International, Inc., an initiative of the North American Freemason's Grand Lodges, that generates "completed packs" of various identifying items of children for parents or guardians. MasoniCHIP International., Inc. is recognized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) as the most comprehensive program of its type and has received special commendation awards.
GA CHIP addresses the alarming fact that more and more children are reported missing each year. While most are found, many are not. All of the identifying materials generated by GA CHIP are given to the child's family. We retain none of the information, and this program is offered to the public at absolutely no charge.
* Images and content from www.gachip.org.