A small coalition of Stanislaus State students are doing their part to help in the fight against pediatric cancer with “Love Your Melon,” an apparel brand that aims to put a hat on the head of every child battling cancer in America.
Campus crew captain Alexa Smiley said that she made the decision to start a “Love Your Melon” crew at Stanislaus State in December 2015 after she saw a number of celebrities posting pictures with “Love Your Melon” beanies. After researching the apparel brand and realizing that the goal of “Love Your Melon” is to help children with pediatric cancer, she immediately knew she wanted to help out.
“I’m going to school to become a teacher, so obviously kids are very near to my heart,” said Smiley, who said the crew kicked off in January. “My grandpa has also suffered from leukemia and has been in an out of remission for the past couple of years, so cancer is close to my heart as well.”
The apparel brand was founded during an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota and “began with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America,” according to the brand's website. “Love Your Melon” achieved this goal by donating 45,000 hats — one for every child battling cancer — and has since set a new goal of donating $1 million to pediatric cancer research and supporting children and their families.
Half of net proceeds from “Love Your Melon” products are donated to the apparel brand’s nonprofit partners, which work in the field of pediatric oncology, fund cancer research initiatives and provide immediate support for families of children battling cancer. To date, “Love Your Melon” has donated over $1.5 million and over 80,000 hats nationwide.
Since the beginning of the current “Love Your Melon” year — which spans from August to June — Stanislaus State campus crew members have sold 125 “Love Your Melon” products, including beanies, shirts, ball caps and coffee mugs. On Cyber Monday alone, the local crew sold over 40 products.
“Just from the profit ‘Love Your Melon’ made on Cyber Monday nationwide, they were able to donate almost $415,000 to our partner organizations,” said Smiley.
Additionally, to celebrate National “Love Your Melon” Day in October, Stanislaus State crew members got the opportunity to visit a local family in Turlock and visit Valley Children’s Hospital in Madera, where they distributed 150 free beanies to patients.
“We don’t have a specific goal, we just enjoy visiting the kids and we always want to visit more,” said Smiley. “We want to continue to make an impact on these children’s lives and put smiles on their faces.”
To purchase "Love Your Melon" products and support the Stanislaus State crew, visit www.loveyourmelon.com and at check select "California State University Stanislaus Campus Crew."