I started The Isabel Allende Foundation on December 9, 1996 to pay
homage to my daughter, Paula Frias. Paula's untimely death in 1992
broke my heart. She was only 29 years old when she died, a graceful
and spiritual young woman, the light of our family.
During her short life, Paula worked as a volunteer in poor communities in
Venezuela and Spain, offering her time, her dedication and skills
as an educator and psychologist. She cared deeply for others. When in doubt,
her motto was: What is the most generous thing to do? My foundation, based
on her ideals of service and compassion, was created to continue her work.
Seed funding for the Foundation came from the income I received from
Paula, a memoir I wrote after her death. To this day, I get
innumerable letters from people touched by Paula's spirit.
Since 1996, I have contributed to the foundation annually with income from
my other books.
It is a wonderful truth that the things we want most in life—a sense of purpose,
happiness and hope—are most easily attained by giving them to others.
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