Are You a Generous Sole?

Dr. Alicia Hirzel: physician, wife, mother of four, daughter, sister, and unofficial philanthropist. An unsung hero of charity, Dr. Hirzel has quietly and selflessly been dedicated to giving back to the needy children of her home country, Belize. She spearheads several projects throughout each year including backpack and school supply drives, educational teaching supply drives, and special holiday goodie bag deliveries for children at a local preschool she personally sponsors. Her experiences with these individuals have led to her positively humbling attitude and a collection of inspiring moments shared with her community. Dr. Hirzel has devoted countless years to these projects, and she refuses to let the love stop there.

image1Photo courtesy of Alicia Hirzel, M.D.

When Be Love initially spoke with her, Dr. Hirzel’s unwavering desire to support others immediately captivated our team. She left us changed by her infectious kindness and gentle spirit. Like most micro-philanthropists we meet, they do not perform service work in the hopes of becoming a philanthropist and most certainly wouldn’t boast the title. These individuals simply want to give back and hopefully through the process, change someone’s life for the better. In Dr. Hirzel’s case, her motivation is straightforward and grounded: these children need our help.

Poverty can be found all throughout Belize; however, the lack of resources strikes the Central American country’s youth powerfully. It is estimated that among children ages 17 and under almost 40% live in poverty. Dr. Hirzel has seen firsthand the economic scarcity experienced by the innocent and most promising of Belize natives. Belizean children show up to school with just the clothes on their backs. Most students don’t even own a pair of shoes. Imagine that? Preschoolers and elementary aged children trekking to school under rough, and sometimes unsanitary, conditions completely barefoot. Everyday. In that moment of awareness, the idea of a shoe drive was born.

image2Photo courtesy of Alicia Hirzel, M.D.

As a mother, I think of my own children and how blessed they are to own several pairs of shoes. We take for granted the luxury of being able to replace a shoe that simply doesn’t fit or update a pair because it’s gone out of style. I think about all the shoes my children must have worn over the years and all the opportunities of hope that could have blossomed from these forgotten pairs. For a Belizean child, the idea behind whether the shoes are new or used is irrelevant because these pairs represent acts of pure grace. The smile on that child’s face from a small act of grace would symbolize the first day of leaving those barefoot walks to school behind.

untitled-designPhoto courtesy of Alicia Hirzel, M.D.

Be Love is excited to partner with Dr. Hirzel to collect as many pairs of shoes as we can, new or gently worn. This shoe drive will bring together all the “generous soles” within our community as well as any other dream makers willing to touch the lives of children.

Know that each pair of shoes donated will be worn by a bright eyed and contagiously appreciative Belizean child. Imagine, showing up to school on the first day with a fresh backpack and a pair of shoes… now I would say that’s a great way to start a new school year.

For more information on how you can help the children of Belize, please contact Be Love at


Words from Cristina Alfonso