By Jessica Berlinger
There are numerous organizations on campus that benefit college students, and also some that benefit not just college students but also people with cancer. Love Your Melon (LYM) is one of these groups. They are well known for selling hats to raise money for children who are battling cancer.
LYM was started in 2012 by two friends in a business entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN. The two friends wanted to help children who were battling cancer by putting a hat on every one of them.
The original goal of the two friends was to donate 45,000 hats, (that’s how many children were battling cancer in America at that time). When they achieved that goal, they decided to make a new goal to donate one million dollars to pediatric cancer research and provide support immediately to the children battling cancer and their families.
Fifty percent of the net proceeds from the sales of all the LYM products, which include hats, shirts and other small products, are donated to LYM nonprofit partners for pediatric cancer. The partners work in the field of pediatric oncology, fund cancer research initiatives and provide support to families of children who are battling cancer.
As of today, LYM has donated over 1.5 million dollars and over 80,000 hats.
The local group was started last year by juniors Danielle Belisle and Shelby Sicheneder. Belisle was interested in starting a group, so she and Sicheneder filled out the paperwork online and got together a group of 20 people and Bethany’s LYM crew was started. Leaders of this group include juniors Belisle (Captain), Jeremy Becker (Co-Captain), Sicheneder (Public Relations Manager) and Anna Nelson (Secretary).
“My favorite part about being in this group is really that I am making a difference in children’s lives,” said Nelson. “Even if it is by selling hats, we are raising money to fund research and I think that’s pretty cool.”
On campus, the group is responsible for promoting LYM. Along with promoting it, the company sends out a challenge every couple of weeks and the crew completes the challenges in order to be recognized as a crew.
“I love everything that the company stands for,” said Belisle. “I joined Love Your Melon because my grandma died of cancer my freshman year of college so the whole thing was really important to me, and I love the idea of giving kids with cancer hats. My favorite part is just being a part of the whole company and getting to see what kind of an impact it actually makes on people’s lives.”
Last year on Superhero Day, the group had the opportunity to visit a man who had cancer. It was his birthday and he had two kids, and the group got to meet his family and spend the day with them. Both Belisle and Becker mentioned this as it had a big impact on both of them.
“We got to see an immediate affect of what we do, and it was pretty cool,” said Becker.
LYM is able to make an impact on many other people’s lives, just by selling hats. This organization benefits both college students and people fighting cancer, and it is a good way to make a difference and see into the world of a person with different struggles. To purchase a hat, contact Belisle, Becker, Sicheneder or Nelson.