SOUTH CAROLINA (WMBF) - Teens helping to protect nesting loggerhead sea turtles near Charleston will have an easier time tracking the creatures this summer, thanks to a donation from the family of famed comedian Stephen Colbert.
The family of Colbert, a native of James Island, SC, donated the ATV to Learning Through Loggerheads after the non-profit was left without means of transportation for its summer program. Meg Hoyle, director of the non-profit, said the ATV was needed to transport students to various loggerhead nesting sites.
"For the summer, Learning Through Loggerheads expanded their program based on the promise of a partnering non-profit [organization] who committed to providing an ATV for student transportation," Hoyle said.
One week before the program's summer launch, the organization learned the non-profit it had teamed up with to acquire the ATV would be unable to provide the vehicle.
"I couldn't stand the thought that there were teenagers ready to be involved in a community conservation project and we weren't going to be able to get them to the project site," Hoyle added.
Because the organization is a small non-profit, officials said it did not have the money readily available to buy an ATV days before the program's start date.
Hoyle said in wake of the loss, the organization sent out an email blast asking for donations. In the list of the recipients was the Colbert family, who put the organization in touch with an area businessman that found the program a used ATV.
"The ATV was ready to go by the time the students were out of school," Hoyle added. "[The students] have protected more than 60 turtle nests this season."
Learning Through Loggerheads is a grassroots effort that provides scholarships to students in loggerhead turtle protection. By participating in the program, students have the opportunity to learn about science while acquiring job skills.