Holiday Pop-Up Shop to Benefit Pediatric Cancer Patients Nationwide Launching at Mall of America

Pinky Swear Foundation partners with Love Your Melon during the season of giving to support kids with cancer and their families

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA (November 18, 2016) — In partnership with Minneapolis-based Love Your Melon, Pinky Swear Foundation is launching a two-week pop up shop at Mall of America to spread awareness of pediatric cancer and raise funds to support its mission to help kids with cancer and their families with financial and emotional support.

Beginning Black Friday, shoppers can purchase the Minnesota-made knit beanies at the custom-designed 900 square foot kiosk located in Macy’s Court. A limited-edition Pinky Swear Love Your Melon reversible knit beanie will be available, along with twelve other best-selling colors and styles, for $30 each. Open daily through Friday, December 9, a portion of the proceeds of each purchase will go to Pinky Swear Foundation.

Since 2003, Pinky Swear Foundation has supported families' quality-of-life with direct financial aid for basic needs, and through experiences that create emotional support, including home rescue, reliable transportation, groceries, utility payments, stocked hospital pantries and weekend family getaways. This is the second year the Mall of America has provided the Macy’s Court space to Pinky Swear Foundation.

“It’s a huge honor to partner with Love Your Melon to share the Pinky Swear story at the Mall of America,” stated Brian Nelson, Pinky Swear Foundation Executive Director. “The impact made possible through Love Your Melon sales has grown our reach tremendously: Love Your Melon support has provided more than $250,000 in grants and 442 families have been helped across the country since 2015.”

Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America as well as supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer.

Dates:             November 25, 2016-December 9, 2016

Location:         Mall of America Macy's Court, 4000 Southwest Ct, Bloomington, Minnesota

Hours:             5:30 am-7:00 pm on Nov. 25; 10:00 am-6:00 pm daily Nov. 26-Dec. 9, 2016

The Pinky Swear Story

Pinky Swear Foundation was founded in honor of Mitch Chepokas, who lost his battle to bone cancer in 2003. In December 2002, 9-year-old Mitch overheard his pediatric oncology ward neighbors stressed about money for Christmas gifts, and generously decided to give away his savings – $6,000 – to other kids fighting cancer. After sneaking envelopes of cash under doors and on nightstands, Mitch told his dad it was the most fun he’d ever had, and he wanted to do it again the following year. With a terminal prognosis, his dad had to tell Mitch the truth: that he wouldn’t be around the following Christmas. That’s when Mitch made his dad, Steve, ‘pinky swear promise’ to continue to help families with kids with cancer even after he was gone.

Pediatric Cancer Facts

  • A child is diagnosed with cancer every 45 minutes
  • The average age of diagnosis is 6 years old
  • The average length of treatment is 2 years
  • The average family will spend 25% of its disposable income on non-medical related expenses associated with the treatment of their child
  • One in 11 families with a child diagnosed with cancer will file for bankruptcy
  • Childhood cancer is the leading cause of death by disease in children under the age of 15 in the U.S.

About Love Your Melon

Love Your Melon was founded in an entrepreneurship class at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota by two friends, Zach and Brian. On a mission to improve the lives of children battling cancer since October 22nd, 2012, Love Your Melon began with the simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America.

In 2014, Love Your Melon embarked on two nationwide tours and spread its mission from coast to coast. After meeting amazing individuals at colleges all over the country who wanted to get involved, Love Your Melon developed the Campus Crew Program. To date, more than 11,000 students at 700 different colleges and universities have joined the story. 

Fifty percent of net profit from the sale of all Love Your Melon products are donated to their nonprofit partners in the fight against pediatric cancer - including Pinky Swear. Their partners work in the field of pediatric oncology, fund cancer research initiatives and provide immediate support for families of children battling cancer. Join the story at www.loveyourmelon.com.