ATF creates beeping eggs so vision impaired children can experience an Easter egg hunt.
Today, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was part of the Second Annual Easter Egg Hunt, which hosted between 100 to 150 children with special needs at Woodbury Elementary School sponsored by the Grace City Church
ATF San Diego Arson Explosive Unit collaborated with the San Diego County Sheriff's Bomb & Arson Unit to construct large plastic beeping eggs. They then donated them, making it possible for visually-impaired children to join in a holiday egg hunt in Southern California.
Each egg cost around $11.50 to assemble and was the brainchild of Nashville ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge David Hyche in 2005.
Hyche sought a way for his blind daughter Rachel to participate fully in a church Easter egg hunt. Rachel was not yet two years old, but she already exhibited a desire for independence that would push Hyche to find ways for her to do things with little or no assistance. Hyche asked for help from co-workers and local law enforcement to construct the eggs. The bomb technicians and ATF certified explosives specialists are trained to work with electronic circuitry, which made them a natural fit to assemble the eggs. In 2005, Hyche held his own first event in Birmingham, Ala.
As the event grew in Birmingham, Hyche a member of the International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI), wanted to let other children nationwide join in the fun. After discussions, IABTI developed a partnership with the National Association for Parents of Children with Visual Impaired (NAPVI) and they now supplying materials nationwide to those interested in creating the beeping eggs for the visually-impaired children.
"Rachel (who is now 12 years old) and I are overwhelmed ever year by the generosity we see in the law enforcement community and IABTI," said Hyche. "Being able to do things like this with independence means a great deal to these kids and their families."
"Many of ATF's enforcement personnel routinely deal with violent criminals and give back to their communities by putting those individuals behind bars," said ATF Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Eric Harden. "This unique opportunity allows ATF to use our explosives expertise to give visually-impaired children a chance to enjoy this holiday tradition. In addition, the ATF personnel volunteer at the egg hunt so they can experience the children's joy and excitement firsthand."
The day's activities also accommodated others by having a quiet egg hunt for children with sensory processing issues, a magnetic egg hunt for children with mobility restrictions, and a general egg hunt for children with other special needs.