Christopher Landino ’04 isn’t afraid to get emotional. In fact, the Northford, Conn., native says that it’s almost impossible not to be in his line of work.
At just 27 years old, Landino has seizedl the reigns as executive director of the ITP Foundation, a Connecticut-based nonprofit that works with and advocates for children across the country who suffer from immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder that affects about four in every 100,000 kids.
“I wanted to help people in a really meaningful way,” Landino says. “And you feel empathy for all these people you’re speaking with and working with in a very direct way. In most cases, your emotions help you along and inspire you.”
Landino was introduced to the nonprofit sector during his senior year at Roger Williams when he attended a nonprofit career seminar at nearby Brown University. A proponent of RWU’s commitment to community service, Landino also coached a local little league baseball team as a senior and says that the ideals by which he lives now really took shape on the Bristol campus.
These days Landino is helping young people nationwide by leading a grassroots effort to raise both awareness for ITP and money to aid medical research efforts worldwide. In 2008 alone, the Foundation furnished a $50,000 research grant to Children’s Hospital in Basel, Switzerland, fielded triathlon teams at competitions across the nation, hosted an official Wiffle ball tournament and increased the organization’s web traffic by more than 300 percent. The Foundation even partnered with the Hole in the Wall Gang – a free-of-charge camp for children with cancer and serious blood diseases and their families, founded by legendary actor Paul Newman.
“I feel like I’ve been given a gift to be at the helm of this,” Landino says,” and I can’t imagine doing anything better with my time.”