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Greater Victoria siblings promote program designed to grow philanthropy among Millennials, GenX

Victoria Foundation’s Gadsden Initiative engages new generations

Siblings Stacy Lund and Trevor McCall hope sharing their eye-opening experience in philanthropy inspires others of their generation.

Lund works at the Pacific Institute for Sport Excellence (PISE), where she’s fostered an ongoing relationship with the Victoria Foundation and was invited to participate in a focus group.

Siblings Trevor McCall and Stacy Lund learned more about the charitable landscape in the region through the Victoria Foundation's Gadsden Initiative that targets Millenials and Generation X. (Courtesy Victoria Foundation)

The Saanich woman reached out to her brother and other families, who collectively became the latest cohort in the Gadsden Initiative, which looks to strike a philanthropic chord with Millennials and Generation X.

Inspired by Burges Gadsden, whose vision led to the creation of the Victoria Foundation in 1936, the Gadsden Initiative targets a new generation looking to make a lasting difference through engagement and philanthropy.

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The foundation provides an opportunity to learn about local charities, meet relevant people and make decisions about what to fund. It afforded the group an opportunity to give back in a structured way, Lund said.

They started in late 2019 and visited the Mustard Seed food distribution centre in Esquimalt, The Foundry youth mental health and addictions centre in Victoria, and Little Phoenix Daycare, Canada’s first trauma-informed daycare, before COVID-19 restrictions took a toll on visits.

“It opened our eyes to how much good Victoria does to help others,” McCall said.

The Victoria Foundation matches funds of $5,000, invests the entire original donation, and the cohort determines recipients for the funds raised through investment.

“It’s a legacy that will continue,” Lund said.

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This year, the group provided funds for PISE’s children programs. About 10,000 kids come through a year, including youth at-risk, Indigenous and children new to Canada, as well as young people facing myriad challenges, Lund said.

“We know the impact sports has on a child’s development and well being,” McCall added.

Victoria Hospice also received funds.

McCall is president of McCall Gardens, which offers funeral and cremation services deals with the end-of-life care organization on a daily basis. He sees and hears firsthand how valuable a resource the programs at Victoria Hospice are to Greater Victoria.

It also inspired him in yet another option for giving.

The Oak Bay man and his wife recently revised their wills to bequeath some funds to Victoria Foundation.

As the foundation opens applications for the next cohort in the Gadsden Initiative, McCall and Lund recommend the experience.

“It’s been both an eye-opening and heartwarming experience,” Lund said. “It’s a part out our life now. I’m so glad we did it.”

Visit to learn more about the program.

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Christine van Reeuwyk

About the Author: Christine van Reeuwyk

I'm dedicated to serving the community of Oak Bay as a senior journalist with the Greater Victoria news team.
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