Giving back: Nonprofit gives hope to those in need of a smile

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Rebecca Colone’s mother always taught her to give back to others, and so she wanted to pass that sentiment on after her mother died.

“She had always taught me how relationships are more important than any kind of objects you have, and (she taught me) the meaning of giving back.”

Colone’s mother, Michele, lost her battle with liver cancer in 2014. Two years later, Colone was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“So, after that, I wanted to give back and help people, just anything to put a smile on their face,” the Fishers resident said.

So, she launched her nonprofit, Michele’s Mission of Love, which she named after her mother.

“We don’t do anything big that changes people’s lives. We’re not that big where we can give somebody a house or a car, but our hope is that our little gifts will give people a smile and let them know they’re loved and that somebody’s thinking of them,” Colone said.

Colone started doing her projects in 2016, but the organization didn’t become a nonprofit until this year. The group’s largest project is making sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic bags. Between 500 and 700 plastic bags are required per mat.
“We cut the bags and crochet them together, so that’s been one of our main projects,” Colone said. “Then, we do cancer gift bags, little gift bags full of stuff for people going through chemotherapy.”

Michele’s Mission of Love also makes hearth-shaped mastectomy pillows for women with breast cancer to use post-surgery.

“It helps to have pressure on your chest while you’re going through recovery,” Colone said.

Michele’s Mission of Love focuses on younger people, too. We make welcome boxes for kids going into foster care, so when they’re placed in a new home, we give them a box with a flashlight, a nightlight, something to help them feel secure in their new bedroom. We give them a blanket, a stuffed animal, a coloring book.”

Michele’s Mission of Love also collects children’s luggage so foster kids don’t have to pack their items in trash bags.

“The group I donate to said 86 percent of children placed in foster care just have their items in a black trash bag,” Colone said. “We give luggage to (Dept. of Child Services) workers so when they go to the home to remove a child, they can take a suitcase with them so the child doesn’t have to put their stuff in a garbage bag.”

Other projects Michele’s Mission of Love completes includes senior smile baskets for residents in assisted-living facilities and classroom supplies for teachers.
“We want them to feel loved and know that people are thinking of them,” Colone said.

For Colone, her nonprofit is a full-time venture.

“I was a social worker for over 20 years, and then when I was diagnosed with breast cancer, I wanted a break after that because it’s a stressful field,” she said. “So, I was just taking a break, and then my husband has his own business.”

Colone and her husband, Jason, have been together for four years and have been married for one. They don’t have children.

Her hobbies include reading and traveling. For more, visit Michele’s Mission of Love on Facebook.

Rebecca Colone makes a sleeping mat for the homeless. (Submitted photos)

Monetary and volunteer needs

Rebecca Colone said her nonprofit, Michele’s Mission of Love, can always use monetary donations. To donate, send a check to Michele’s Mission of Love at PO Box 211, McCordsville, IN, 46055.

The organization also accepts donations of toiletries, fleece blankets, makeup and beauty products, among other items. Colone said she wants to get a storage unit because all of the donated items are stored in her house.

The nonprofit also needs volunteers.

“We are always looking for volunteers to help assemble the baskets we donate,” she said.


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