Alex Meysman never thought he would find his passion on the slopes of Aspen. Working with the organization Shining Stars, Alex would take kids out of the hospital and teach them how to ski and snowboard. This was his first major event as a volunteer for Love Your Melon, and it sparked him to turn it into a career, where he’s now the Event Director.
“I got to dress up as a superhero with my snowboard and hang out with the kids, and I think at that moment I realized what it means to actually do something meaningful for others,” Meysman says.
Zachary Quinn and Brian Keller started Love Your Melon in 2012 at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. The two were in an entrepreneurship class with hopes of starting something that would move people and get them involved in their communities, according to Meysman.
Quinn and Keller decided to create a company that, with every hat purchased, a child in the hospital battling cancer or other life-threatening illnesses would receive a hat as well. After their first batch of hats sold out practically overnight, they realized their small business had the opportunity to be successful, and since then, they have sold more than 40,000 hats in less than three years. The company has also partnered with the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch for Children’s Cancer with the goal of donating $1 million to these organizations.
There are many different ways to be involved with the company, whether purchasing hats through the website or getting involved with one of their teams—their high school ambassador teams, college ambassador teams, and their 50 for 50 teams for adults. The high school teams are groups of students ages 15-19 that act as advocates for Love Your Melon at their schools. At the college level, the ambassador crews consist of anywhere from four to 20 students with a goal of selling 100 hats. Once they reach it, Love Your Melon sends them 100 hats and sets up a donation event with a hospital in the campus crew’s area. The 50 for 50 teams are geared toward getting friends and family members of people and children affected by cancer more involved with the cause. Their task is to sell 50 hats, and similar to the college program, Love Your Melon sends them 50 hats in return to donate to a local hospital. Those wanting to buy Love Your Melon hats can also purchase directly at loveyourmelon.com.