Grants Awarded

         Junior League of Wichita, Inc. has awarded a $750 grant to Mom on a Mission for the creation of 11,000 DNA kits to be distributed to local agencies.

         Mom on a Mission (MOM) is the brainchild of one local mom whose child was severely abused as an infant by someone close to the family. Hoping to keep other children from experiencing such trauma, MOM spent years working with local, regional and state agencies to understand steps to prevent abuse, and what actions to take when abuse does occur. One surprising fact MOM uncovered: A child’s fingerprints can change over time, and do not become permanent until around age 10 or 11. DNA, however, is permanent and does not change, and is therefore a superior method of identification.

         With this knowledge, MOM created a unique DNA kit so parents may have a readily available and labeled DNA sample if so needed. The DNA kit contains a long cotton swab and a storage envelope. All the parent has to do is rub the inside of the child’s cheek with the swab, let it dry completely and then store in the envelope provided. No other supplies are needed. If stored at room temperature, the sample will last approximately 10-15 years, but if stored in a freezer, the sample can last a lifetime. 

         Just two weeks after Junior League of Wichita notified MOM of the $750 grant, MOM had assembled and distributed all 11,000 DNA kits to the Wichita Sheriff’s Department, Women’s Crisis Center, Catholic Charities Harbor House, Kansas Department of Corrections — Victim Services, and police departments in Andover, Derby, Goddard and Maize.

         In addition to developing the DNA kits, MOM was also a driving force in getting legislation passed in the state of Kansas for a lifetime protection order for adults and children. The next item on MOM’s agenda is to get violent child abusers added to the state’s violent offender registry. Junior League of Wichita is looking forward to watching what else Mom on a Mission will accomplish.