Local Nonprofit is All About Giving to Those In Need
Michele’s Mission of Love began as a way for Founder Rebecca Colone to honor the memory of her mother while aiding her own healing journey. The organization, which became a 501(c)(3) nonprofit in March of 2020, gained national attention after being featured on “The Kelly Clarkson Show.” One of its programs, which provides mats made out of recycled plastic bags for the homeless, caught the attention of the show’s producer.
“Kelly’s producer contacted me last February,” Colone says. “They wanted me to be a guest on the show and talk about the mat mission. I was on a flight to L.A. that Friday.”
The organization has 50 active volunteers, and more than 1,700 members comprise its Facebook group. While activities have slowed down due to the coronavirus pandemic, the organization continues to help those in need. It occupies a special niche in comforting cancer patients.
“My mom’s name was Michele and she passed away in 2014,” Colone says. “She taught me that relationships, as well as providing acts of kindness, are more important than anything. I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2016. I had a double mastectomy and it took me five months to heal. I thought about what my mom had taught me, and I started making bags to give to cancer patients. It made me feel better.”
After receiving a heart-shaped pillow during her mastectomy recovery, Colone began sewing and donating them. After that, when a woman from her church told her about making mats out of plastic bags, she began producing mats and arranged distribution through two organizations – So Others Can Survive, and God’s Open Arms Ministry.
“Even though I had never crocheted before, I figured out how,” Colone says. “First the bags have to be cut into strips and made into plarn, or plastic yarn. It takes about eight hours and 500 to 700 bags to make one mat. I posted on Facebook asking for used bags and it really blew up. We have three bag collection sites – Fishers, Noblesville and Avon. We are currently looking for a business that would donate some unused office space or a storage unit.”
Each month the organization focuses on a special project, and often projects become an ongoing part of the charity. One such project is luggage donation, as a considerable number of children that enter foster care transport their possessions in garbage bags.
There are several ways to assist Michele’s Mission of Love. The group’s Facebook page has a link for purchasing wish-list items. Since the organization is registered as a nonprofit, monetary gifts are tax deductible.
“What’s amazing is that it helps those who help,” Colone says of her organization. “One volunteer has made over 50 mats since February. She was dealing with depression. This has given her a purpose. We hope to make someone smile. We want them to know we are thinking of them and they are never alone.”
Visit facebook.com/groups/MMofL for more information. Monetary gifts can be sent to Michele’s Mission of Love, c/o Rebecca Colone, P.O. Box 211, McCordsville, IN, 46055.