Cancer is truly a horrible hand for any child or adult to be dealt with, however there are always people willing to lend a hand to make it a little easier. Zachary Quinn and Brian Keller, students of the University of St. Thomas, are two such people. During an entrepreneurship class, these two friends had an idea leading them to found Love Your Melon, a student-run apparel brand that makes hats and other clothing for children battling the disease in America.
“We founded the organization while we were sophomores in college. We wanted to help those in need and everything else came together. The hats that we made were popular enough to sell out the first weekend,” said Quinn. “On December 18, 2012, we got to go to our first hospital donation event and it was then that we knew how cool this idea was. Seeing the smiles on the kids’ faces that day was incredible so we kept making the hats.”
People can buy Melon’s hats, ranging from thick knit beanies to pom cuffed beanies and caps to hats made of leather. The designs can be regular or the buyer can customize their own. Shirts and other accessories are available for purchase as well.
For every sale Melon makes, they then donate a hat to cancer patients across the nation. The donated hats are given to the hospitals in person, and as an added bonus for the kids, the ambassadors even dress up as superheroes. To date, more than 7,500 college students and over 500 different schools support the organization and serve as ambassadors to sell and donate hats.
“To celebrate reaching this goal and further expand its impact, we have partnered with the Pinky Swear Foundation to provide immediate support for children battling cancer and with CureSearch for Children’s Cancer to fund research initiatives to beat childhood cancer completely,” stated loveyourmelon.org. “Love Your Melon has launched a new model to replace its buy one, give one program – 50 percent of net proceeds on every Love Your Melon product sold will be donated to the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch. Every year there are 15,000 children in the country given new cancer diagnoses. Through funding from future product sales, Love Your Melon will continue to give hats to all of these kids in addition to the 45,000 it has already committed to.”
Through its buy one, give one program, Love Your Melon has managed to sell and donate over 45,000 hats.
“This is equal to the number of children currently undergoing cancer treatment in the country,” according to their official website.
Founded on October 22, 2012, the organization continues its mission and remains strong to this day. More information can be found through their pages on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube, in addition to Get Involved.