Syracuse University student Michelle Sagan knew she didn't want to sit behind a desk the entire summer doing a summer internship. So, instead she's spending 45 days on the 'Love Your Melon' tour bus.
"It's the perfect summer internship and I'm really lucky to be a part of it," she explained.
Two friends at a University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota started the now non-profit 'Love Your Melon' as a school project.
But the organization has since increased its reach, most recently all the way out to Spokane's Sacred Heart Children's Hospital.
"The goal is to bring smiles to kids battling life threatening diseases," Michelle explained. "So it's buy one, get one, and every hat we sell, we can donate another one to kids at the hospitals."
Decked out in their 'Love Your Melon Man' attire, these volunteers are on a 45-day west coast tour, delivering hats, hugs, and smiles to kids and their parents in 20 different cities.
"It's awesome to go room to room and fun to see them smile," explained Sam Harper, a college student working with 'Love Your Melon.'
"I have a little sister with down syndrome," added Michelle. "So I knew I wanted to be helping someone in any way possible, especially little children."
And that's exactly what these volunteers do at these hospitals.
Sarah Valentini's son David is currently undergoing chemotherapy for brain cancer. He got a pink hat from 'Love Your Melon,' and it helped brighten his day spent at the hospital.
"It means a lot, that people care," explained Sarah. "It helps kids a lot, gives them some hope and happiness...it gives them a good day."
And, it teaches the volunteers a lot too. When they're not at hospitals, they spread 'Love Your Melon's' message to college campuses too.
"It's really about getting involved in your own community," said Sam. "And seeing what you can do to better the quality of life for these kids."
Warming hearts and warming heads, one beanie at a time.
If you're interested in purchasing a 'Love Your Melon' hat, you can go to their website, http://loveyourmelon.com/. Similar to the TOMS, this is a "buy one, give one" non-profit. Each hat purchased means 'Love Your Melon' can donate another hat to a child in the hospital.