In a Pandemic Holiday Season, Focus on Charitable Gifts

With the season of giving in full swing, we may find ourselves searching for gifts with more sentimental value this year. The impact that COVID-19 has had around the globe has without a doubt made an everlasting effect on our world views, but that doesn’t mean it’s all downside. As most of us have witnessed on the News and in daily life, our compassion and kindness for one another have grown by leaps and bounds. A report from the Fundraising Effectiveness Project found that charitable giving was up by 7.5 percent on a year-over-year basis in the second quarter of 2020.

While the gifts we give to those we love are secondary to the true meaning of this time of year, sharing tokens of affection remain an excellent way to spread cheer to friends and family near and far. In addition to giving presents that provide comfort and practicality, charitable donations can double your impact by giving in the name of a cause that’s near and dear to a loved one’s heart.

We at Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation have come up with two creative ways for our supporters to turn their holiday gift into a donation. The first is the opportunity to ‘Give with Heart,’ and donate in the honor or memory of someone. Our donation gift certificates can easily be stuffed in a stocking – or an envelope and sent in the mail – either way, your loved one will be happy to know you’re helping to create a world where everyone can save a life!

Another great way to give back is by participating in the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign 2020 auction. This year, we’re auctioning off a FredNats Terrace Box Table for 4. Our Box Table includes wait staff for tableside ordering, so you won’t miss a single play! For those who don’t know, the FredNats are a Class A Advanced Affiliate of the Washington Nationals MLB team. The bidding is open to everyone and runs through December 30th.

The simple act of giving makes donors happier and healthier, but the passing of the new Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act offers additional tax-incentives for those making charitable donations in 2020. The new law has a few key provisions that may affect you and your charitable goals, including a new charitable deduction; a change to required minimum distributions; and an opportunity for those who itemize. To learn more, please visit and speak with your tax preparer next year.

It is far better to give than to receive and there’s no better time to support Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation than right now. Every dollar raised goes directly into our programs that educate our community on the importance of Hands-Only CPR and use of an AED. 

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Joel Griffin

Chairman & Co-Founder

Joel Griffin is co-founder and chairman of Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation. Gwyneth’s Gift was founded in 2015 by Joel and Jennifer Griffin in honor of their oldest daughter, Gwyneth. He is also an entrepreneur, investor, and philanthropist with 25 years of private industry consulting experience and 20 years in government contracting. He is the Founder and CEO of Riphean, a regional growth management firm.

Joel is committed to philanthropy within the region through local nonprofits and organizations that strengthen local communities. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Fredericksburg Regional Alliance, Fredericksburg Regional Chamber of Commerce, Stafford Hospital Foundation, and Germanna Educational Foundation. Joel was recognized for his impact and leadership within the region, receiving the Prince B. Woodward Leadership Award in 2022.

In addition to the regional award, Joel received the Valor Award from Loudon County for his life-saving efforts in an emergency. He also received the Patriotic Civilian Service Award given by the U.S. Army for actions taken immediately and following 9/11 at The Pentagon in 2001.