Meet the Company That’s Using Beanies to Beat Childhood Cancer

How do you change the world for children with cancer? If you're Brian Keller and Zachary Quinn, founders of Love Your Melon, it's one beanie at a time.

How-One-Company-Is-Putting-A-Hat-On-Every-Child-With-Cancer-1Courtesy Keegan Shouts at Lola Red PR

In 2012, Brian Keller and Zachary Quinn were just two friends in the same Entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota. What started as an idea for a class assignment—to put a beanie on every child battling cancer in the country—quickly became more than a simple entrepreneurial project.

Founders Zachary and Brian wanted to change the world for a group of vulnerable people, so they decided to place their focus on children with cancer. According to Forbes, they began their project by setting up a Love Your Melon lemonade style stand with a box full of beanies, and the hope that they would sell. In two days they had sold out. At the core of their mission to make a difference for children with cancer was the decision to donate half of their profit to pediatric cancer charities such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and the Make-A-Wish Foundation, among others. The company’s inspiring mission to sell and donate hats for cancer patients spread quickly, and it soon gained the support of celebrities and communities across the nation.

How-One-Company-Is-Putting-A-Hat-On-Every-Child-With-Cancer-2Courtesy Keegan Shouts at Lola Red PR

Love Your Melon’s Campus Crew Program enlists over 12,000 college students across America to promote the sell of beanies locally on their campuses and in their communities, as well as visit local pediatric cancer patients in person to donate the hats. So far, Love Your Melon has helped deliver over $2.5 million to pediatric cancer research and donate over 91,000 beanies to children with cancer. Crafted with young patients in mind, the hats are soft enough for the sensitive skin of those undergoing cancer treatment.

How-One-Company-Is-Putting-A-Hat-On-Every-Child-With-Cancer-3Courtesy Keegan Shouts at Lola Red PR

Love Your Melon continues to keep its laser focus on making a difference for children with cancer and has no plans of slowing down.

Founder Zachary Quinn told Reader’s Digest, “Over the next year, we have a full line-up of new products, partnerships, and events set to be unveiled, which in turn will allow us to further impact the lives of thousands of children battling cancer in America. As we expand and take on new opportunities, everything we do continues to point back to our mission of fighting pediatric cancer. That’s exactly what fuels everyone involved with the Love Your Melon community: the opportunity to be a part of a story much larger than just beanies.”

Pediatric cancer is the leading cause of disease-related death for children, and receives only 4 percent of the National Cancer Institute’s funding. For more information on how you can join the fight against childhood cancers and the Love Your Melon community, visit their website.

These hopeful cancer statistics show that our research dollars really do make a difference.

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Jen Babakhan
Jen Babakhan is an author and credentialed educator living in California. She writes regularly about advice and culture for Reader's Digest. She is also the author of Detoured: The Messy, Grace-Filled Journey From Working Professional to Stay-at-Home Mom (Harvest House Publishers, 2019). She earned her BA in Communication Studies from California State University, Stanislaus. You can follow her on Instagram @JenBabakhan , Twitter @JenBabakhan, and Facebook @JenBabakhanauthor.