By MARIA KANSO, Staff Reporter
Love Your Melon, a non-profit organization, lately branched to the University of Michigan-Dearborn campus to give students the privilege of helping kids who battle cancer.
An apparel company run by college students across the country, Love Your Melon was first initiated in 2012 by two college students at the University of Minnesota, Zach Quinn and Brian Keller.
The main purpose of this organization is to put a hat on every child battling cancer. When a hat is purchased, another gets donated for a child battling cancer to bring joy and show support.
“The fact that there are children with cancer out there in the world who don’t get [publicity] and are just in hospital beds worried about the last little bit of hair on their heads is heartbreaking,” said Alexandra Davalos, a pre-business student at UM-Dearborn. “When I heard that the organization gives a hat when one is bought, I was in.”
Jordan Ewald, a journalism and screen studies and communication student, had the idea of initiating Love Your Melon at UM-Dearborn after she saw a student on campus wearing a Love Your Melon hat. After finding out that several other students were interested in the same cause, Ewald sent an application to the company, which was accepted on Feb. 15.
“I think that being my age and being in college, everything is me-driven,” said Ewald. “It’s really exciting just knowing that you’re doing something and you’re making a difference for someone that you don’t even know.”
The Love Your Melon crew at UM-Dearborn has reached 20 members, which is considered maximum capacity. By promoting their message on social media, the crew hopes to gain more supporters.
The company has grown enough to give 50 percent of its profits to cancer foundations, such as CureSearch, one that is directly aimed at cancer research, and the Pinky Swear Foundation, which helps support the families of those battling cancer.
Students can help promote Love Your Melon products by clicking on the UM-Dearborn crew when they checkout during their purchase online. The crew will be then be given credit, and the company gives them promotion kits of stickers and bracelets to pass around campus as the credits get higher.
Love Your Melon gives hats to kids with cancer when it reaches 100 credits. Members have a chance to go to hospitals and places in the community wearing superhero costumes to cheer the children up while giving them the hats.
“It’s just kind of reminding them of happiness and all those kind of things,” Ewald said.
One of the plans of the Love Your Melon crew at UM-Dearborn is to cooperate with other student organizations and host more events to spread the word as much as possible.
“We foresee events to promote Love Your Melon and we have fun and creative ideas,” said Gina Verduzco, special education student and vice president of Love Your Melon at UM-Dearborn. “I think Love Your Melon could bring groups of people together. With events in mind, many people can participate.”