Hyche is the first to admit that he didn't understand what it meant to be blind— he thought that Rachel's life would be completely restricted because of her disability.
Rachel quickly taught him that she could, in fact, do things on her own. When it came time for the annual Easter egg hunt, Hyche knew he had to find some way for Rachel to participate. He told Fox News:
“I tried to figure out a way to make it accessible to her because she wants to do it by herself, she doesn't want somebody taking her hand and putting it on an egg.”
So he did some internet research and connected with a man who told him how to make beeping eggs. Unfortunately, creating the eggs was extremely expensive.
But because Hyche is an Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agent that works with explosives, he was able to modify the design. He built a $12 model using a switch, a piezo beeper, a 9-volt battery and battery clip.
So when activated, the egg made a beeping sound which allowed Rachel to find it.
Hyche recalls that his effort to enable his daughter to participate in a holiday tradition quickly turned into “The Rachel Project.”
“I was doing a presentation at an International Association of Bomb Technicians and Investigators (IABTI) Conference and I showed pictures during the break of the kids at the Easter egg hunt. And a gentleman that's an IABTI member saw that and thought that it would be the perfect marriage of ATF agents, law enforcement bomb technicians, and military bomb technicians to take this on as a project,” he said.
Because of the Rachel Project, $10,000 is donated a year, and bomb squads around the country build the eggs— which are then provided to schools for the blind and various groups for the visually impaired.
And while the purpose of Hyche's project was to help Rachel and other visually impaired kids participate in a festive activity, he has learned that his eggs are serving a bigger purpose. He explained:
“A lot of schools for the blind use the eggs year-round to teach kids how to locate things because it teaches them to use a logical pattern to search.”
This, Hyche says, is another move towards independence.