Love Your Melon organization spreads awareness about childhood cancer on campus

Campus crew informs about charitable program dedicated to alleviating childhood cancer



Michelle Cremers high-fives a camper at Joshua’s Camp.

Most are familiar with feeling accomplished when they purchase a product that has a strong charitable benefit. Aristotle even had a word for it: eudaemonia.

This year, students will have the chance to experience eudaemonia through the Love Your Melon campus crew and its goal to spread awareness about childhood cancer. Love Your Melon sells a range of products, including beanies and tank tops.

Of all profits made, 25 percent is immediately sent out to families with children suffering from cancer. Another 25 percent is allocated to the Pinky Swear Foundation, an institute dedicated to childhood cancer research.

Natalie Donovan, junior advertising major and captain of the Love Your Melon group, said the idea for the organization stemmed from a school project.

Several students at the University of St. Thomas (Minn.) came up with the idea a few years ago, and according to their website, it has spread to 225 campuses around the U.S.

Donovan said the organization is kicking its program into high gear this year. Donovan said she made the decision to “really get it going” last summer

Sophomore Courtney Kommer said she is enthusiastic about the Love Your Melon program. She is familiar with the products and their exigence due to friends at a Blugold Marching Band practice last week.

“Two of the piccolo (players) have the hats and wore them on the same day. They were twinning,” she said. “They’re cute hats!”

Kommer said she appreciates how Love Your Melon’s profits go toward two separate purposes.

“As a nursing major, I know that pretty much everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer,” she said. “It’s a super sad statistic.”

Donovan commented on a similar pattern of appreciation in most people who take notice of Love Your Melon’s products.

“Everyone loves the hats,” she said. “They also love it when they realize they can buy the hats and help out (charities associated with childhood cancer).”

The UW-Eau Claire crew has 20 members and is in its second year of holding an occasional booth in Centennial. Flyers at the booths contain information about the program and are handed out to interested students, Donovan said.

As the Eau Claire crew has grown in popularity, Donovan said she has accrued a waiting list, as well as a volunteer list.

The 20 crew members are some of the 2,500 throughout the nation, according to the Love Your Melon website.

Four Eau Claire crew members attended Joshua’s Camp last week. Dressed as superheroes, they donated fifty hats to six different families, all of whom have a child battling cancer.

The Love Your Melon website describes the buy-one-give-one plan that was used before the current model. Originally, when people purchased a Love Your Melon hat, campus ambassadors would deliver a hat while dressed as superheros to children at hospitals.

While Love Your Melon now allocates half of its profit to charitable purposes, hats are still donated based on request.

Over 45,000 hats have been delivered to children battling cancer.

“One of my passions is children and their health,” Donovan said. “… and this is a fun, creative way to help out.”