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Paula Foster, founder of Moments in Frames, has partnered with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) in her pursuit of doing meaningful work for a just cause. For every picture frame purchased with the AFC promo code, $5 goes to lifesaving HIV prevention, care and housing services. Foster contributed this blog to Inside Story to explain how she got into this line of work.
By Paula Foster
It was a conversation with Oprah that opened my eyes to who I wanted to be -- and what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
Accounting was my field. I'd spent 21 years working for her and watching her show daily. I was seeing all the great things that people were doing and being given that touched and changed lives. I was hearing about living your dreams and having the courage to pursue them.
I want to do that, I thought while crunching numbers.
I wanted to do the same thing, but in a different way. I wanted to do it in a way that utilized my gifts and talents. And I wanted to give back, too.
Moments in Frames was founded in order to express the creative and sensitive sides of my personality. My market research was done over a four-year period, during which I gave away frames to numerous individuals and organizations for a variety of different events: birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, graduations, awards, memorials and more.
When The Oprah Winfrey Show was ending, I had to make a major life decision: Stay where I'd always been and be safe or step out in faith and pursue a dream. My husband and daughter gave their unwavering support, so I walked away knowing I had to at least give it a try.
The positive response to my work is what inspires me. Depending on the theme of the frame, people react with tears, expressions of happiness or awe. Once at a workshop, a 12-year-old Girl Scout shouted, Your frames ROCK!
It was funny and we all laughed, but it was another affirmation that I'd made the right choice to walk in the direction of my dreams.
The opportunity to work with AIDS Foundation of Chicago is such an honor and another confirmation that I'm headed in the right direction.
Categorized under Inside Story.