He wanted his blind daughter to be able to hunt Easter eggs. So he got creative.

11-year-old Rachel Hyche has been blind since she came home from the hospital.

"Rachel rides horses, watches movies, drives a golf cart, roller skates, and does most things other kids her age do," her father, David, told Upworthy. "Some of the things are done a little different but we usually find a way."

David says that at just 18 months old, Rachel was a confident toddler whose self-affirming favorite phrase was "I do it by self." But, when Easter rolled around that year, David realized there was a problem — how could Rachel participate in an Easter egg hunt if she couldn't see the brightly colored eggs?


Photo by Bianca Spelt/AFP/Getty Images.

He had been asked to help plan the Easter egg hunt for his local church in Alabama, and he wanted Rachel to be able to participate. With her insistence on doing everything "by self," he was determined to find a way for her to do so without parental assistance. David needed a way to let Rachel be her independent egg-hunting self without cramping her style.

Rachel might be visually impaired, but her hearing was totally fine — and that's when David found the perfect solution:

Easter eggs that beep.

It took some quick research online, but thanks to his day job as a bomb technician, David knew a thing or two about electronics and was able to craft an innovative beeping egg for his daughter.

Made with simple components and a 9 volt battery. Photo provided by David Hyche, used with permission.

The idea was well-received by both kids and their parents.

"The kids really enjoy being able to do this activity by themselves. I have seen kids grow in confidence before my eyes and parents change their attitudes about what activities their kids can do with a little modification," David said, noting that letting Rachel try anything and everything she wants can be difficult at times.

"I learned from my Rachel not to decide for her what she likes and doesn’t like or what she can and cannot do. Sometimes this is hard. A skateboard comes to mind."

Photo provided by Captain Shajahan Jagtian, used with permission.

Teachers at schools for the visually impaired also fell in love with the idea and started using the eggs for lessons beyond the Easter hunt.

"Teachers for the blind have also used the eggs year-round to teach location skills. I noticed early on that my daughter had trouble finding items she dropped or lost. The eggs teach the kids to search in three dimensions, not just on the floor," David explained.

In the last couple years, the beeping Easter eggs have spread to communities all over the country.

Bomb squads in Prince George County. Maryland, and Tampa Bay Florida, recently used crafting the eggs as a training exercise in soldering and circuitry as well as an opportunity to give back to the community.

"[The officers] really don't like to be out in the front of things so for us to use our skills to help kids that are not as fortunate as most makes all of us feel good," said Randall Mattson-Laurent of Tampa Bay.

Photo provided by Captain Shajahan Jagtiani, used with permission.

David Hyche has spent the past decade working on other innovative Easter ideas to help even more kids with disabilities.

"This year I built and tried a vibrating egg that I believe will allow kids who are both deaf and blind to participate next year," he told Upworthy. "I believe that the kids will be able to locate the eggs through vibrations if we place them on a wood floor."

David knows that simple modifications like these can truly help kids with disabilities feel included, just like they did for his daughter.

David and his daughter Rachel. Photo provided by David Hyche, used with permission.

"I really enjoy the exposure that the blind and visually impaired kids and adults get through this project," he said. "I had never known a blind person prior to Rachel and I was nervous around them at first. I think that the more that the public understands anything that they are not familiar with, the more it will be accepted."

As for Rachel, she's outgrown the Easter egg hunts, but has inherited her dad's helpful spirit.

"As a self-described, 11-year-old pre-teen, my daughter claims to be too grown up to hunt eggs," he says. "We now move into the phase of her helping other kids during the event. She still gets candy."

True

If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.