One of the events everyone on South Padre Island looks forward to every year is "Turtle Days". Turtle Days officially begins when the first Kemp Ridley nest is found on the beach and the eggs are transported to a safe place where they can hatch. The flags are raised and calendars marked for a week of festivities.
Paragraphs is pleased that we have been able to become a part of this annual celebration. In May, we host the "Turtle Tea" and join in the fun as our Island ladies come dressed in their best hat and gloves, often created by the busy ladies at Craft Camp to sip the finest Earl Grey from dainty cups and saucers while eating tasty cucumber finger sandwiches and delicate macaroons. Island resident Nancy Marsden does a great job of planning and putting all these Shellebration events together.
All of the proceeds raised at Turtle Days events are donated to Sea Turtle Inc. the wonderful organization whose dedicated volunteers work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured sea turtles, while educating the public, and assisting with conservation efforts for all marine species.
One successful fundraising program at Sea Turtle Inc., is the opportunity to Adopt-a-Nest. Volunteers and interns work together to locate the Kemp Ridley sea turtle nests, transport the eggs and relocate them to the corral where they are closely monitored for signs of hatching. Paragraphs adopted our first nest this year and it has been fun to wait for our nest to be found, and now we are eagerly anticipating news that our eggs have hatched and are ready to be released.
While we were excited about supporting Sea Turtle Inc., by adopting a Kemp Ridley nest, we thought there must be some way to leverage this donation into additional support for Sea Turtle, Inc.'s nesting program. So we started what we call our "nest egg" which is a fund we are setting aside for our adopted Nest #7.
Since May 6, when our nest of 77 eggs was found and moved to the corral, we have been putting a penny for every dollar spent at Paragraphs into our "nest" which sits on our counter. We will continue to donate this 1% of our sales to Sea Turtle Inc. until the hatchlings are released. While, we are pleased to make this donation, the really great part is that many of our customers have been adding to our nest egg and we are able to increase awareness of the turtle nesting program at the same time. When we started our little "nest egg" idea we had no idea how much additional support we would receive from our customers. The pocket full of odd change, a spare dollar here and there, it is amazing how generous people are.
The first turtle hatchlings were released Sunday morning, June 20 and so I know nest #7 will be ready to head into the Gulf of Mexico any day now. Griff and I will be the proud parents at beach access 4 cheering the little guys on their way.
Thank you to Sea Turtle Inc., for use of photos from their website.