BY MIRANDA SPETACCINO
Students at County College of Morris can now support children battling cancer in America through a new club affiliated with Love Your Melon.
Love Your Melon is a popular apparel company known for its philanthropy. It was founded in 2012 with the initial mission of putting one of their signature beanies on every child battling cancer in America.
Love Your Melon started off selling beanies, with the goal of donating 45 thousand hats (equal to the number of children battling cancer in America), and has since surpassed that, donating over $2.5 million and over 90,000 hats, according to their website. They have since diversified the merchandise they offer to include shirts and pom-pom hats, to name a few. Fifty percent of all proceeds go directly to support pediatric cancer research.
Now, college students across the country can start clubs on their campuses called campus crews to advocate for pediatric cancer through Love Your Melon. There are currently 11,000 Crew Members nationwide at 740 different educational institutions, according to their website. And it now has a campus crew at CCM.
At the beginning of the spring semester, Nicole Sullivan, a nursing major at CCM and president of the CCM Love Your Melon Campus Crew, decided to start a campus crew because of her passion for the cause and future career goals.
“I really liked what the company stood for and what they were doing,” Sullivan said. “I figured as a nursing student, I also wanna work with kids when I do become a nurse, that it was just a good way to kinda do both at the same time.”
Sullivan added that the role of a campus crew is not to sell the merchandise directly, but rather to promote Love Your Melon through campus events and social media posts, and to encourage the CCM community to purchase merchandise on the Love Your Melon website, choosing CCM as their campus crew. In turn, the campus crew chosen at checkout receives a credit.
“If you go on the website to buy [merchandise] you can select a campus crew to support [at checkout],” Sullivan said. “So you would select County College of Morris, and then we get a credit. The more credits we get, the more opportunities we get to go to the hospitals and see the kids and do stuff with them.”
The CCM Love Your Melon campus crew currently has between 12 and 13 members and meets in the Student Community Center every other Monday at 2 p.m., though Sullivan said the time may change.
Meetings serve as a way to touch base with the members on sales and as communication strategy sessions.
“Any sales that happen during the week, I have access to see the stuff we’ve done to see where we rank with like other schools in the region with how many beanies sales [we’ve been credited],” Sullivan said. “I think last time I checked we were at 17 which is pretty good considering we only started a couple months ago. We discuss any upcoming events and just if anyone knows a good way to get the word out about love your melon.”
Jaida Schettino, a communication major at CCM, jumped at the chance to contribute to a good cause by joining the Love Your Melon campus crew at CCM.
“I joined as soon as I heard Love Your Melon was getting a campus crew at CCM,” Schettino said. “I’m a communication major and being a part of this group involves reaching out to others and promoting the cause … my responsibilities within [the campus crew] are good experience for my future.”
Schettino added that the club meetings have a casual atmosphere, and encourages others to join as well.
“Once you join the club it kind of opens up your eyes to how many people are actually affected by pediatric cancer and how many lives you can make a difference in by doing something as simple as selling or promoting apparel,” Schettino said. “The whole thing is incredible and you just hope that others will help out as well.”
Love Your Melon is a widely known company, but because CCM’s campus crew is so new, many students are not aware of it, such as Michelle Caravaglia, liberal arts major at CCM.
“I know what Love Your Melon is, I actually have a few beanies,” Caravaglia said. “But I had no idea we had a club on campus for it. That’s awesome.”
The CCM Love Your Melon campus crew is currently looking for new members and/or support from the CCM community. Students who would like to join can send an email to Nicole Sullivan at firstname.lastname@example.org with their full name, phone number, email address, graduation year, and t-shirt size.
More information can also be found on Facebook at County College of Morris Campus Crew and Instagram @ccmlymcampuscrew.