IRVINE, Calif. – On Saturday, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) was part of the Fourth Annual Easter Egg Hunt, which hosted children with special needs at Jeffrey Trail Middle School sponsored by the Grace City Church.
In the past, 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 donate them annually 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 in their 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. That year, Hyche held his own first event in Birmingham, Alabama.
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 the association now supplies materials nationwide to those interested in creating the beeping eggs for the visually-impaired children or they create the eggs and send them to those who request.
“This is a chance for ATF personnel to get out into our communities and volunteer,” said ATF Los Angeles Field Division Special Agent in Charge Carlos A. Canino. “It is humbling that our personnel could use their expertise to create these eggs for these wonderful children, providing them the opportunity to enjoy this holiday tradition.”
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.