By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis announced the winners of their Power of Children Awards (POCA). In 2005 POCA was created in part to align with the mission of The Children’s Museum, which is “to create extraordinary learning experiences across the arts, sciences, and humanities that have the power to transform the lives of children and families.”
The award recognizes students in grades 6-11 who are improving the lives of others through commitment to services and the betterment of society.
Abby Diuble, an eighth-grader from Manchester, MI., was one of six winners for her project titled WHIP (Warning Hearing-Impaired People). These alarms help alert visually and hearing-impaired people to look for safety in times of need.
Diuble was inspired to make these machines and make them available for others when her mother, Angela, and hearing-impaired sister, Lilly barely made it to safety when a tornado struck their house in 2015. Her sister does not wear her hearing aids to bed and was difficult to awaken.
Angela and Lilly barely made it to safety before large portions of their house were damaged, not long after, Abby began to research alarm systems that could help prevent this.
“It is my desire that all hearing- and visually impaired people—especially children—will stay safe in emergencies by having an alarm system like the one I am providing,” said Abby in a press release from the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis.
Along with distributing many alarms to those in her community she is continuing efforts to get the systems to those it can benefit anywhere. The systems have a smoke and carbon monoxide alarm attached to a bed-shaking device. They also include NOAA weather radios that help awaken hearing-impaired people, as well as LED strobe lights for the visually impaired.
The project has grown as Abby has begun to work with the Washtenaw Intermediate School District in terms of identifying who the alarm systems can help. The WISD gives that information to people who benefit or know someone who could benefit has become a meeting place to distribute alarms.
“It’s cool to inform people about things, they don’t know what they don’t know, said Abby when asked about telling people about the alarms.
One thing Abby wants to do moving forward is to continue to raise awareness for the alarms, trying to bring in new people to the operation and deliver more systems. Ambitions for the project include more growth, not only locally, but nationwide if they can find the right partner.
Each fall, Diuble Family Vision, their family foundation, holds a fundraiser to help raise money for the alarm systems. This year the fundraiser will take place Nov. 17 at the Washtenaw County Fair Grounds at 6 pm.
This year’s theme of the fundraiser will be an American theme with a live and silent auction and donations going towards Abby’s project. The event includes activities for children and adults.
For winning the award, Diuble and the other winners will be honored during a special dinner and program at The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis November 9.
She will also receive a $2,000 grant from the Kroger foundation to expand her project, each alarm cost around $300 and Abby told The Sun Times the grant money will go towards purchasing more.
Diublefamilyvision.org has more information about Abby’s project and their family foundation.