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Meet Cristina Alfonso of The Be Love Movement

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cristina Alfonso.

So, before we jump into specific questions, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Since I was just a kid, I’ve always felt a calling to help others. When I was old enough to venture out on my own, I would get involved in as many service projects, donation drives and charitable experiences as possible. Through these experiences, I met countless selfless individuals who would take it upon themselves to start a collection or aid a cause. They didn’t have a relationship with a specific charity or organization. They only acted because they felt they had to lend a hand to another soul in need. As I learned more about the efforts of these everyday individuals (or as we like to call them: micro-philanthropists), I realized most people do have an innate desire to help out.

What often stops the average Joe from organizing help for a certain cause? The answer, in my experience, is twofold: they won’t know who to help or where to begin their individual journey of charity. From this realization, the Be Love Movement was born. At its core, it’s a combined effort between the unsung heroes of our community and those with the true desire to help others and inspire love.

Has it been a smooth road?
At the start, I was fueled by the excitement of starting a new initiative. We had a few local micro-philanthropists lined up to help and many different projects we wanted to tackle. During the inaugural year of the Be Love Movement (2016), we aided four major collections for a handful of different local causes. From school supply collections to toy drives, we loved helping several different Miami-based heroes see their passionate efforts transform into a lasting impact on our community.

A few years later, the challenge has become less about managing pending projects and more about highlighting causes that speak to our community on an intimate level. The journey hasn’t always been smooth, but it’s been a rewarding ebb and flow of wholeheartedly dedicating time, energy, and resources to local micro-philanthropists that need a platform.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into The Be Love Movement story. Tell us more about the business.
Here’s the spiel. The Be Love Movement provides a supportive platform to those disruptors and change-makers wanting to impact our community for the better. Our goal is to highlight small, unassuming acts of love and kindness in a way that motivates others to become involved with their community. We try to create relationships with special individuals, or micro-philanthropists, that happen to have minimal resources but are never short of charitable ambition. For example, a physician who manages a shoe drive for her home country during her spare time is a micro-philanthropist. A college student who visits hospitals during the year’s slow season to distribute gifts is a micro-philanthropist. A girl who hand-delivers school supplies to children attending a local, underserved school is a micro-philanthropist.

The Be Love Movement serves to give them credit, highlight them, tell their story, and strengthen their resolve in order to continue their work. Maybe even more importantly, the Be Love Movement seeks to create momentum and instill passion in others to begin engaging alongside them.

By highlighting unassuming acts, those acts become influential to an entire segment of individuals that follow us. They could be young adults, grandmothers, dads, kids, etc., from our community. Essentially, they can be people from any background, age, or gender looking to make a difference. By promoting the most modest acts of compassion, we “Spread Love” and champion our vision; “a world filled with faith, restored by love.”

Now I think that’s something worth spieling about.

How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
In 5-10 years, I see growth. I see a movement where the masses come together. A movement where the changemakers and the trailblazers on the forefront of social change and social justice can unite under one purpose: to serve and to do so with love. There are endless amounts of opportunities within our community to do good and to make a difference in the lives of others. And our ever-growing Be Love Movement army will be there to answer the call to serve.

What’s your favorite memory from childhood?
When I really think about it, my greatest memory from childhood would probably make the average kid growing up today roll their eyes, my three kids included. Nevertheless, I absolutely loved waking up on the weekend and watching Saturday morning cartoons. I was always joined by Dad, while Mami whipped up café con leche and a Spanish tortilla with patatas and chorizo. If I was lucky, I would get to visit Abuela’s house afterward. This would entail a new episode of ​The Price is Right​ and a few reruns of ​I Love Lucy​, followed by multiple outdoor games with the neighborhood kids in the front yard.
Now looking back, I can honestly say my personal happiness and fulfillment has come from the simple things in life. Life IS about the simple things, or rather, simple moments shared together with a foundation of love.

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