Jason Paseli, Alexandra Reda, Nicolas Pendenza, Gabriella Musacchio, Layla Todaro, Ariana Filippone, Marcella Pacitto

The McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) Foundation’s next generation of givers has bonded together to create a Young Professionals Committee, comprised of fresh faces from varied walks of life – ages ranging from 20-35 years old. Although professionals in different fields, they are like-minded when it comes to one thing: improving the quality of life of patients receiving care at the Royal Victoria Hospital of the MUHC.

Alexandra Reda and Gabriella Musacchio are two of the driving forces behind the group’s efforts. “I work full time in philanthropy and am humbled by the magnitude of what I witness every day,” Gabriella says. “There’s a significant importance in learning how to give back to your community, especially within people of our generation, the next generation of donors, and that’s something I hope I can bring to the table.” Alexandra adds that her desire to do something more also came from experience in philanthropy. “Giving back, even if it’s just volunteering, opens your eyes to the multiplicity of problems that need solving,” she says. “We want to help people our age see this and get encouraged to help, so it was in that spirit that this committee came to be.”

Making an immediate and quantifiable impact is at the heart of the committee’s mission. These young and savvy professionals understand that the face of philanthropy is changing and that if they want to stay relevant to their audience, they must change with it. “We are living an important cross-over between our parents’ generation being the most active donors in our community to us coming to an age where we will soon have to take over,” Gabriella says. “By getting involved and starting to give before the handover happens, we are setting the stage for our generation to be well-informed and responsible donors, while also having a vested interest in how we want to give.”

Although the committee is still in the exploratory phase of what their first fundraising initiative will be, they have a clear-cut goal in mind. “We want to help patients and their families have the most pleasant experience possible when being seen or treated at the MUHC,” Alexandra says. “We want to reduce certain burdens associated to a hospital visit and just generally make life a little easier for anyone that walks through the doors.”

The members of the MUHC Foundation’s Young Professionals Committee are proof that the next generation of philanthropic leaders is burgeoning. They are hard-working and eager to give back to their community by leveraging the influence of their networks to make a difference. “Improving the basic quality of life of patients is what we’re all about,” Gabriella says. “If we can do that, then we’ve accomplished our objective.”