Do you love your melon? Well, Alyssa Thomas, Co- Captain and Event Manager for the UW-Milwaukee Love Your Melon organization sure does. During her freshman year, Alyssa became aware of the LYM brand and loved the ideas and products they had to offer so she decided to get more information. Thomas later found out someone else on campus had the same idea so they teamed up together to start the organization here at UW-Milwaukee.
The UW-Milwaukee LYM crew now has 30 official crew members and over 300 volunteer members, making this organization the largest on campus. The crew is led by an executive board of six people, who just recently were voted in since the current board is graduating next year. Alyssa and others help to organize the crews together and create events to make people aware of LYM and all that they do for kids and families impacted by cancer.
Love Your Melon is an apparel brand that dedicates its’ time to giving hats to every child that is battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead to fight against pediatric cancer. On their home website, you can find beanies and headbands for both men and women. On the LYM website you can find impact stories of children who have been affected by cancer and also been impacted by members of the LYM crews around the United States.
Alyssa works specifically to oversee the UWM LYM crew and helps to manage events on campus for the organization. LYM focuses on putting together events for children with cancer whether it be giving events, superhero adventures, swab drives or any other public events the group is invited to.
The UW-Milwaukee crew has attended multiple events in Minneapolis, Minnesota over the past couple of years seeing as that is the headquarters of the brand. These events included working with pop-up shops and contributing to a partner event with Lulu Lemon apparel. While at these events, LYM crews from all over the U.S. get to come together to swap ideas and see how they can make kids’ lives better.
“I can’t think of a personal story that triggered my involvement but throughout my time with LYM I’ve met some amazing families and heard some incredible stories,” says Thomas.
One of the most popular organization events LYM puts together is the different superhero adventures, in the last two years UWM has worked on eight different superhero events. These events in particular are a time for the children affected by cancer to enjoy a fun day with the crew and their families and live the life of a real superhero.
Crew members dress up in capes and LYM signature beanies and give words of encouragement to patients and try to brighten their day and lift their spirits.
The UW-Milwaukee crew is currently working on the plans for their next superhero adventure that is going to take place in January of 2018.
When it comes to other events the organizations put together, they mainly focus on volunteer work throughout the communities. LYM has become such a large organization almost every college across the country now has some affiliation and college crews even connect to work on projects together.
Whatever your gender, you are encouraged to join the volunteer crew to help out on our campus and in our communities and make an impact in children’s lives. The Love Your Melon Organization is one that just recently over cyber Monday weekend as a whole raised over $1,000,000 for their nonprofit partner organizations.
Currently, crew meetings are scheduled every other Wednesday and take place in Cunningham Hall. If you are interested in volunteering, that crew meets on the opposite Wednesdays and, at each meeting, the group discusses different tasks that they need to complete that week and they also plan certain adventures that are coming up for the crews.
“I’ve learned a lot about running an organization and the different skills needed to create a successful event as well as the different struggles that come with pediatric cancer,” said Thomas.
Love Your Melon isn’t just for college students, either; athletes all over the country are teaming up with the organization to work in partnerships with the organization. Athletes go to hospitals to talk to kids in their communities and give them some encouraging thoughts and wishes. Using the idea of buy one, give one, NFL teams like the Vikings and Broncos are getting involved to help get the organization’s name out there to as many people as they can.
With the Christmas season right around the corner, the different crews and whole organization are encouraging people to purchase LYM apparel to donate to a cause that is unparalleled.
The idea of LYM originated from St. Thomas University in Minnesota when two students came up with the idea of getting a hat to every child battling cancer in the U.S. To date, the organization has more than tripled its original target goal and is only aiming to reach bigger goals from here on out.
The lack of funding, research and awareness are the focus and mission of LYM, where heartbreak can become healing and a story of pain can become a story of strength. With the help of high school, college, professional athletes and people all over the U.S. this organization is one that opens our eyes to much needed areas of our society.
Meetings will continue into next semester where the organization will plan new events and gather new ideas from their members on what they think will be the most beneficial for the kids and the organization.