On August 4, 2018, twelve Brethren from Cotner Lodge No. 297, Craftsmen Lodge No. 314 and Waterloo Lodge No. 102 gathered at the Northeast Family Center in Havelock in Lincoln, NE for a CHIP Event.
There were four computer stations, a dental station, and medical station. Brothers manned the check-in, computer and check-out stations. The dental station was manned by two students from the College of Dentistry where Toothprints, an impression of the kids’ teeth, were made. The medical station was manned by Rhonda Sanford and her daughter Kristen from Bethel #63, where DNA swabs were taken. All information collected from the children was then given to the parents and erased from the computers. The parents were educated by the Brethren on how to store the DNA and dental impressions, and the photos, interview and description of the kids, stored on a USB thumb drive, were also given to the parents.
In an event where the child is missing, all this information can be handed to the authorities, saving precious time. Instead of interviewing distraught parents, the authorities can use this information to immediately start search efforts. Since the program began, over 45,000 kids in Nebraska have had packets made and given to their parents. The event lasted for lasted for three hours and 40 identification packets were processed and given to grateful parents.
The event was organized on behalf of the Northeast Family Center by W.B. Rob Sanford, a member of the Nebraska Freemasons CHIP Foundation Board, and W.M. Mark Rossignol of Cotner Lodge. W.B. Rob commented that it was great to see so many Brothers willing to come out and support this event. W.M. Mark provided technical support for the computers when there were technical difficulties. The event went smoothly and the interaction between the Brethren and the Community gave everyone involved a great sense of pride and fellowship.
If your Lodge would like to host an event such as this to interact with and serve with your community, please contact the Grand Lodge. Events such as Back to School nights, company picnics and health fairs are excellent opportunities to get Freemasonry in front of the public. Who knows, you might even get someone interested in your Lodge and Freemasonry!