Emily is a 20-year-old Public Relations major from Charleston, West Virginia.
What made you choose to go to West Virginia University?
The decision to choose WVU was not a difficult one to make. I was born and raised in Charleston WV. Both my parents, and grandparents attended WVU, so when it came time for me to apply to college I knew exactly where I would belong. Another huge reason I decided on WVU was because of the wonderful Reed College of Media. I had attended an accepted students tour previous to starting at WVU, at this point I had not decided on a major, but decided to tour the Reed College, I instantly fell in love and knew that this was where I should spend my next four years.
What exactly is Love Your Melon?
“Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer.” This is our mission statement that can be found on the Love Your Melon website.
Love Your Melon was founded by two college students in their entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul Minnesota. Their original goal was to create fashionable beanies for people to purchase, and for each beanie purchased they would be donating a hat to a child with cancer. After achieving their goal of giving 45,000 hats, they set out a new goal of donating one million dollars to pediatric cancer research. To date, Love Your Melon has donated over 2.6 million dollars and over 98,000 hats.
How did you get involved with Love Your Melon?
I have worked with children for about nine years now. Previous to joining the crew, I was familiar with the Love Your Melon brand and what they did for children. I had always wanted to help children who were going through hard times and this was the perfect opportunity for me to-do my part. I joined the WVU campus crew in fall 2016. I became involved because one of my good friends who was apart of the first crew here at WVU, announced there were open spots on the crew, and I immediately applied. I was overjoyed to learn I was selected to join the crew.
What do you do as a representative?
One of the largest jobs as a representative of Love Your Melon is to promote the brand and their mission. Every time a person makes a purchase on the Love Your Melon website, they have to opportunity to select a college crew. When someone selects WVU, we earn a credit for each item purchased, these credits go towards our eligibility as a crew to have donation events. This year we earned over 1,000 credits, and are one of the top five crews in our region.
In February we planned and held our first small donation event, this type of event focuses on one child, and takes place outside of the hospital. This was a wonderful experience; it was great to see how being apart of Love Your Melon can really effect the children’s lives.
Coming up on Thursday April 27th, Love Your Melon will be partaking in Super Hero Day. That morning myself and other members of the campus crew will be visiting children in the hospital and delivering them beanies. Also happening that day in the Mountain Lair, we will be hosting a Be The Match swab drive. From 11-3 p.m. we welcome everyone to register for Be The Match, a national bone marrow registry that helps thousands of people suffering from blood cancers.
What is the best thing about working with Love Your Melon?
It is hard to pick the best thing about Love Your Melon, but I would have to say it is being apart of something bigger than myself. It is often difficult to feel you are truly helping children’s lives when you just donate money, but Love Your Melon gives myself and other college students the opportunity to see first hand how amazing what small things such as giving a beanie can do for a child suffering from cancer. I am so happy to be apart of such a great organization.