There are countless ways to join the fight against cancer — and students on the Newman University campus are showing the community how easy it is to help by forming the Newman Love Your Melon Campus Crew.
Love Your Melon is a company founded in 2012 by two college students from St. Paul, Minn. Their initial goal was to donate a hat to every child in America who is battling cancer.
They didn't stop there after meeting that goal, and have begun efforts to raise $1 million for non-profit organizations focused on pediatric cancer, whether that focus is research, or simply to help families and the children fighting the disease by providing direct support. Now they sell hats, apparel and accessories in order to raise the proceeds needed to meet their goal.
That's where the Campus Crew come in. Newman senior Kenzie Wills said cancer impacts everyone, whether it be personally or knowing someone who is fighting. For Wills, she has seen two family members go through treatment.
One of those family members was just 3 years old when she was diagnosed. Wills said, "Seeing her made me want to get involved with this amazing organization and help [...] because cancer doesn’t care who it is affecting. I just want to try and be a small help in such a big organization."
Wills initiated the Newman Campus Crew about a year ago and there are now 20 group members who are spreading the word around campus. When a customer purchases an item on loveyourmelon.com, they can choose to "credit" a particular school. As those credits add up, different levels of rewards open up to the crew. Some opportunities include receiving exclusive gear to give away or hosting an event or experience for a child battling cancer.
"We had a goal to have 15 credits by Christmas," said Wills. "We actually had around 20 I believe, which was great for us!"
Madison Decker, also a senior at Newman, has recently taken over as "Crew Captain" from Wills. "The whole thing is about giving back to your community," said Decker, "so when you credit Newman, they try to give back to the kids in Wichita and the surrounding areas."
Decker also handles all the social media for the Newman Crew and is focusing on getting the word out. She said, "We are just trying to get people involved, to let them know that we are doing this because so many students have no clue that we have a crew here on campus."
Although Wills has passed the baton to Decker, she said she is excited to help during the spring semester as much as she can. "We would love to have activities around campus to spread the word and gain credits to our crew to help the cause!"
To help the Newman Crew, people can make purchases at loveyourmelon.com and credit Newman University at checkout.
"When the students say they don’t have the money," said Decker, "I encourage them to save up and help out, because the products are really good quality, and it's a great way to help kids and their families."
The Newman Campus Crew is always looking for new members, too. Contact Madison Decker at email@example.com for more information.