REED CITY — No matter what the time of year, children sometimes go missing.

They may stray away from family and friends or wander off during a class outing.

There are other reasons.

Children may be forced into situations parents and guardians never want to even consider.

Children sometimes go missing, and parents, family, friends, the extended community and law enforcement agencies need all the tools at their disposal to find them quickly and bring about the most positive and happy resolution to the incident.

Local Masons want to help.

Members of Reed City’s Lou B. Winsor Masonic Lodge No. 363 will be providing a free child identification program on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Depot in Reed City..

The Michigan Masonic Child ID program is being held as a part of the Crossroads Festival in Reed City.

The Michigan Child Identification Program is part of a larger state-wide outreach effort made by Michigan Masons over the past few years.

The program involves a comprehensive child identification and protection tool designed to give families protection against the ever increasing problem of missing children. It is provided free of charge to every family who wishes to participate.

Each child that goes through the process will receive a dental impression as well as a CD containing a photo, video, digital fingerprints and their vital information.

Parents or guardians of children who participate must be present and fill out a permission slip for the child to receive this service.

The Michigan Masonic Child ID Program provides the family with everything needed for the Amber Alert System. The program also is considered one of the most comprehensive programs of its kind by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

At a Michigan Child Identification Program event such as that to be held in Reed City, organization volunteers set up equipment used to generate individual completed child identification packages that are given to a child’s parent or guardian to take home for safe keeping, the program retains nothing but a permission form.

Each child progresses through the several stations of the event, the entire process takes about 10 to 15 minutes, generating an identifying item at each station and placing them in his or her package.

Parents are reminded to take the package with them on trips and vacations, it does no good leaving it home, as it can be immediately provided to authorities to aid in the recovery of a child that is missing or presumed abducted.

It is then the responsibility of the parents to provide the package to law enforcement, if their child becomes missing, as an aid to recovering their child.

To date, the Michigan Child Identification Program volunteers have held over 400 events such as that to be held in Evart and has provided over 40,000 children around the state with identification packets.

For questions or more information about the event, contact Dale Lentz at (231) 832-5411 or consult the Michigan Child ID Web site at www.michip.org.