St. Thomas Class Project Warms Heads and Hearts

If you have a chance, check out Gail Rosenblum’s column in the Star Tribune describing some very thoughtful and enterprising students in our ENTR 200 “Foundations of Entrepreneurship” course.  The student project, Love Your Melon,  fits our mission of using business knowledge and skills to help make our world a better place.  This course, co-developed by Jay Ebben and Alec Johnson is also a finalist in a national entrepreneurship education competition sponsored by USASBE.

In talking to local Children’s hospitals, we heard that individuals and organizations donate hats to their cancer patients. Though appreciated, these hats are mismatched, all different sizes and made of a multitude of materials. With Love Your Melon we set out to give warm, colorful, 100% cotton hats to children going through the treatment process. To be able to give away these hats, we created the “buy one give one program,” selling hats identical to the ones that we are giving away. While sticking to the belief that products should be made in America and out of natural fibers, our colorful hats will brighten people’s days. Love Your Melon knit hats will be sold for $20 and $25 because of their attractive design and high quality. Included in that price, for every hat we sell, we will give one hat away to a child undergoing cancer treatment in one of the Twin Cities Area Hospitals.

With the terrible news about the shooting tragedy in the Connecticut grade school on Friday, our students’ project reminds us that many young people are working hard to make good things happen for children.  Our hearts go out to the families who suffered this unconscionable loss. We pray they will somehow find solace in their faith, but there simply are no words to add.

Christopher P. Puto, Ph.D. is Dean and Opus Distinguished Chair of the Opus College of Business at the University of St. Thomas.