BUSINESS

Ole Miss students bring Love Your Melon to campus to fight pediatric cancer

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Newkirk showing off the detailing and logo of the Love Your Melon beanie. Photo by Peyton Sams.

Peyton Sams
Oxford Stories
pasams@go.olemiss.edu

With several organizations dedicated to raise money and awareness for local charities and philanthropies, some University of Mississippi students have brought Love Your Melon to campus with hopes of making an impact locally and globally.

Love Your Melon is an apparel brand with a mission to put a hat on every child battling cancer in America, supporting the fight against pediatric cancer.

According to loveyourmelon.com, the organization was founded in 2012 by two University of St. Thomas students, Zach Quinn and Brian Keller. The two boys founded Love Your Melon with the goal to improve the lives of children diagnosed with cancer.

After the organization reached its original mission of giving every child with cancer a beanie, they decided to raise $1 million to support patients, their families and cancer research. The organization has raised $2.6 million dollars and has donated 109,000 hats.

The organization decided to create “campus crews” to reach college students. At different colleges across the nation, students team to represent the brand and educate fellow classmates about Love Your Melon and its mission to improve the lives of those affected by pediatric cancer.

The organization was recently brought to Ole Miss by a team of girls who saw their friends supporting the organization on other college campuses.

“Love Your Melon is gaining so much popularity all over the U.S.,” said campus crew member Mason Newkirk. “I’m really happy my friends and I took the step to get this organization at Ole Miss. It’s about time we got Love Your Melon to Oxford.”

The campus crew encourages college students to buy Love Your Melon’s trendy beanie caps and hats. For every cap purchased, another beanie is donated to a child undergoing chemotherapy for comfort.

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Love Your Melon campus crew member Mason Newkirk wears one of her favorite “LYM” beanies. Photo by Peyton Sams.

Even though the beanies are the company’s largest sale, they also offer headbands, T-shirts, hats, tank tops, sweatshirts and other apparel with the logo.

The campus crew is still in the process of getting things going at Ole Miss. They have plans to hold area fundraisers.

They also plan to prepare for next year’s National Superhero Day. They will dress up as superheroes and visit a local hospital in Oxford or Memphis to personally deliver beanies and meet with children and families of those battling cancer.

“Seeing the face of a child light up when they see their new beanie is going to be an indescribable feeling,” said Newkirk. “I have friends from others schools who have already done their hospital visits with Love Your Melon, and they said it really changed their life.”

The campus crew team at Ole Miss is hopeful about what’s to come for this organization as it gets started in Oxford. The crew has already begun setting several goals for the upcoming school year as they prepare to promote the brand to its fullest potential.

“My hope is to spread the word about the company and get college students excited about the idea of buying a trendy beanie so another one will be provided for a cancer patient,” said campus crew member Darby Frisbie. “You get to purchase a perfect accessory for your wardrobe while helping someone – a child in need. It’s a win-win situation.”

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Love Your Melon speckled beanie. Photo by Peyton Sams

Frisbie said every day, 43 children are diagnosed with pediatric cancer. The average age of children diagnosed is 6.

“More than 40,000 children undergo cancer treatment each year,” she said. “According to curesearch.com, these statistics are growing even more each day. Although we can’t put an end to cancer, we can help provide the support and comfort these children need.”

You can learn more about Love Your Melon by following @loveyourmelonolemiss on Instagram and Facebook.

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