Julia Mattivi, '19

Julia Mattivi stands in front of a Love Your Melon banner.

Love Your Melon, a national apparel brand, gives 50 percent of its profits to nonprofit partners who are involved with pediatric oncology or are funding research. When a customer buys a beanie, a beanie is given to a child with cancer. Julia Mattivi, a junior nursing major, was intrigued by the company’s mission of spreading awareness on a difficult topic after a story hit close to home.

“We actually had someone from Topeka who was in my brother’s grade. She was younger and she had cancer as a high school student, as a young 15-year-old, and she passed away last year. It was heartbreaking,” Mattivi said. “Before that, following her story and seeing her around, I realized that everyone has a connection with cancer. I saw everything that was done for her that helped just brighten her day and lift her spirits when she was going through this hard time so I was like, ‘Oh, I want to be a part of something that does that.’ And when I heard of Love Your Melon I thought, ‘This is perfect.’”

While she had been familiar with the popular Love Your Melon beanies, she was not as familiar with the campus crew side of the organization.

“I went on the website to buy one (of the beanies) and I found the mission and I found how you could bring a crew to your campus,” Mattivi said.

There was a crew in its beginning stages already at Rockhurst, so Mattivi said she decided to pick up the effort and get the organization approved at Rockhurst.

“It was really easy getting approval to be a student organization,” Mattivi said. “Then, once we got the word out that Love Your Melon is here on campus, we got a flood of people asking how to get involved. It’s definitely reached across state lines. It’s so cool to see how social media works and see that we are really reaching people."

“As a crew on campus we raise awareness, so social media is our big thing. We’re just trying to get the word out about Love Your Melon and the beanies and its mission,” Mattivi said.

In addition to raising awareness on campus, the campus crew also reaches out to children with cancer in the community.

“Writing cards to kids with cancer was the first thing that we did on campus,” Mattivi said. ”In the future, we’ll go on hospital visits and we’ll visit families and their children and throw parties for them and we can take them beanies and take them gift baskets and stuff like that. The next thing we’re going to do, though, is have a tissue swab drive here on campus. We’re so excited about that.”

The campus crew at Rockhurst currently has 28 out of 30 possible members, reflecting the interest of the campus community. While the organization is still in its early stages, Mattivi said she hopes it continues to grow in the future.

“I hope that more people are interested in the mission and being involved in it even though we can only have 30 members,” Mattivi said. “My immediate goal is for everyone on campus to participate in the tissue swab drive. I think that would be really cool. In the long run I hope that this stays here for a while and keeps building momentum and people continue to get involved.”

The tissue swab drive, held in conjunction with Research College of Nursing’s Student Nurse Association, will take place Wednesday, Feb. 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Massman Gallery.

You can follow the Rockhurst Love Your Melon campus crew @kcloveyourmelonru on Instagram, @ruloveyourmelon on Twitter, and Love Your Melon Rockhurst campus crew on Facebook.