Now that winter is finally here after an unseasonably warm couple of months, it’s time to start wearing all those trendy winter hats you bought last season. Speaking of trends, they always seem to find their way to campus. From Bean Boots to Timberlands, Penn State has seen it all. But what about trends that support a good cause?
Love Your Melon hats are the newest trend on campus. Not only are they are cute and come in multiple colors, but they support pediatric cancer. A wide variety of products are available beyond their popular, customizable beanies. Caps, shirts, and accessories can also be purchased — although their gear tends to sell out quick.
According to Jackie Paquin, captain of the Love Your Melon Campus Crew at Penn State and a Family Relations captain for THON, the company was started by two college students in 2012 and is an apparel brand on a mission to put a hat on every child battling cancer in America, fund childhood cancer research initiatives, and provide immediate support for children and their families.
When you buy an item from loveyourmelon.com, a similar product is donated to a child battling cancer. On top of that, 50% of all net proceeds are donated equally to CureSearch and the Pinky Swear Foundation. CureSearch funds pediatric cancer research initiatives, and the Pinky Swear Foundation provides financial and emotional support to families impacted by pediatric cancer. And for anyone that knows a child battling cancer, you can send a hat to them through the Request a Hat Program on Love Your Melon’s website.
Paquin applied last August on Love Your Melon’s website to start a campus crew at University Park, where they were founded last semester in September.
“We have gained a lot of attention and positive feedback from the students and have exceeded all of my expectations. The Penn State campus crew consists of 20 dedicated individuals who all share a common goal and passion to help children and families impacted by pediatric cancer,” says Paquin.
Paquin says that she found Love Your Melon to be a great opportunity to make a difference, and that she can’t imagine not being a part of it.
“Our student body is already incredibly devoted to the fight against pediatric cancer through THON’s efforts. I thought this could be another way for Penn State to give back and help raise awareness for the cause,” Paquin says.
She also says that seeing the impact her and her team have made and the smiles they create is what makes it all worth it. “We have been able reach out and make a difference to families in neighboring communities battling pediatric cancer. LYM has made a significant impact on the lives of families in the State College area, as well as nationwide.”
She emphasizes how important the students at Penn State have been in supporting the movement and helping it grow.
“There is no greater feeling than seeing a complete stranger wearing a LYM hat on campus! I can’t help but awkwardly smile and say, ‘I like your hat’ to them. I wish I could individually thank each and every person that has bought a hat and credited our Penn State crew with their purchase,” says Paquin. “The Penn State student body is one of a kind; we wouldn’t have been nearly as successful without them.”