Photo courtesy of BC Love Your Melon / Facebook

Hats off to 'Love Your Melon'

At Boston College, crew isn’t just for rowing anymore--an on-campus chapter, or “crew,” of the apparel brand Love Your Melon is finding its place on the Heights and making a difference in the greater Boston community.

Love Your Melon is an organization founded and run by college students across the nation, with individual campus ‘crews’ now active at most universities. LYM has a buy one, give one program, with its original mission being to provide each child battling cancer with a hat.

Now, as the organization has expanded, having donated over 45,000 hats, Love Your Melon has partnered with the Pinky Swear Foundation and CureSearch in efforts to further support children who are battling cancer.

“By promoting LYM through social media and inspiring people to purchase beanies, each and every crew helps to reach the goals that Love Your Melon sets as an organization,” says Crew Captain Alexa Liccardi, MCAS ‘17. Liccardi founded the Boston College chapter of Love Your Melon when she transferred to BC in 2014, and has since organized the inner workings of the campus crew and witnessed its rise to success.

The BC crew has 20 ambassadors--Love Your Melon’s maximum limit on crew members--who help to promote the organization’s message and products through social media outreach. Liccardi adds that the small size of the group lends itself to being a tight-knit community of students who all share a common passion. “If anything, it's easier because we have 20 students who are fully committed with defined responsibilities, instead of 60 club members who rarely show up to events or meetings,” says Liccardi.

Since the organization’s founding in 2012, Love Your Melon’s main focus has been to sell hats, shirts, scarves, and other apparel to raise money for the battle against childhood cancer. For college campus crews, one sale is the equivalent to one credit, and credits can be accumulated to participate in Love Your Melon activities such as household and hospital visits.

“So basically,” Liccardi explains, “in order for your crew to really make a difference in a community or interact with the children, 100 credits need to be achieved--which allows the crew to conduct its first hospital visit.”

Courtesy of BC Love Your Melon / Facebook

Photo courtesy of BC Love Your Melon / Facebook

As one of the top 10 selling crews in the northeast, Boston College student-ambassadors accumulated enough credits to make a household visit to 8-year-old cancer patient Mackenzie in Lexington, MA. Crew members got to bring Love Your Melon beanies to Mackenzie and her family, with the chance to spend the day playing games and talking to them.

“As children battle cancer, they need more than just medicine,” says Liccardi. “Therapeutic treatments are proven to increase the treatment success ratio, and at Love Your Melon, we are dedicated to providing this relief for children by creating an adventure they will never forget.”

When the crew hit their next credit milestone, they visited the Franciscan Hospital for Children in Brighton where they got to deliver beanies and caps to 30 children battling different types of cancer, and they visited with the children and their families.

Now, at almost 400 credits, the Boston College crew has received a box of Love Your Melon hats to sell at BC and surrounding communities to “help reach other demographics of buyers and people interested in the organization,” says Liccardi. “We’ve partnered with a few different places, one of them being the Bee’s Knees Supply Co., which is a coffee shop in Allston.” The crew is also working on pairing up with Fuel America, another coffee shop near campus in Brighton.

However, the group has had a few bumps in the road on the way to becoming an official club on campus, as they were denied their initial request. With such a quick rise to success and such promise for the future, the Love Your Melon crew plans to appeal in the spring semester.

“This was a huge bummer because we won't be able to do on-campus sales events until we an official club,” adds Liccardi. “Having the opportunity to do an on-campus sales event would be really awesome and would definitely generate a lot of publicity and sales, so hopefully we can get that approved this year.”

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Meg Loughman