About the Foundation

Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation is devoted to making a difference in the community and the lives of those within. We hope that through our work, we can serve as a catalyst for increasing the survival rate of those suffering from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest because they received immediate life-saving measures from a member within their community.

Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation is Guidestar Gold Transparency, a member of the Rappahannock United Way Local Government Campaign (LGC) and the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign (CVC). 

Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation was founded in 2015 by Joel and Jennifer Griffin in honor of their oldest daughter, Gwyneth. Through the Foundation’s work, Gwyneth’s spirit of caring, compassion, and community lives on as we create a world where everyone can save a life.

Our Vision

To create a Culture of Action where communities are educated, confident and empowered to save the lives of individuals suffering from cardiac arrest.  

Our Mission

To raise awareness of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and the use of Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs).

Our Team

Jennifer Griffin

Co-founder & President

Joel Griffin

Co-founder & Chairman

Veronica Gutierrez

Director of Operations & Community Outreach

Coming Soon

Marketing & PR Manager

Program Manager

Organizational Development Coordinator

Our History

After Gwyneth Griffin passed away shortly after her 13th birthday in 2012, her parents, Joel and Jennifer, spent countless hours advocating in her honor to establish Gwyneth's Law in the Commonwealth in Virginia.
In 2013, it was passed! The law has three components:
  • AED placement in all public schools in Virginia; elementary, middle and high school
  • Mandatory annual Hands-Only CPR training for all Virginia public school teachers
  • Hands-Only CPR Training for all Virginia high school students

The first two components of Gwyneth's Law became enacted later that year.
Watch Video
2014 - 2015
In 2014, Joel & Jennifer continued to advocate throughout DC & Maryland for similar laws like Gwyneth's Law.

In 2015, Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation was established as a 501(c)3 organization to act as the actionable arm of Gwyneth’s Law.

Later that year, the Mid-Atlantic Region, became the first to enact the component of Gwyneth’s Law requiring Hands-Only CPR training in schools.

Also, Joel and Jennifer helped Stafford County become the first HEARTSafe community in Virginia.
In 2016, the final component of Gwyneth’s Law was enacted with Hands-Only CPR training becoming a graduation requirement for all public high school students.

Gwyneth's Gift Foundation implemented three initial programs: Hands-Only CPR & AED Training, AED Placement and the Scholarship Program.

The Foundation partnered with Stafford Hospital and reached a milestone of training 150 individuals in Hands-Only CPR and placed its 4th AED.
In 2017, Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation supported the launch of PulsePoint in Stafford County.

The Foundation also reached over 500 individuals trained in Hands-Only CPR and placed its 13th AED!

Meanwhile, the first staff member was hired to support the Foundation, Kathleen Steininger, and it held its first fundraising event: “A Bourbon Affair”.
The Foundation achieved a huge milestone in 2018 by reaching over 2,600 individuals trained in Hands-Only CPR and placing its 25th AED.

The Foundation established its headquarters in Downtown Fredericksburg.
In 2019, the Foundation added a fourth program, Awareness. The Foundation hosted its largest training event to date at Longfellow Middle School where over 1,000 students were trained on Hands-Only CPR.

Another milestone was achieved of reaching over 5,900 individuals trained in Hands-Only CPR and placing its 38th AED!

"Mom Prom" was also established, which was a new fundraising event for the Foundation.
Due to the Global Pandemic, the Foundation (and the rest of the world) sought to change practices in an effort to continue program efforts and implemented successful virtual training.

The foundation was capable of training Stafford Soccer coaches as well as various other businesses and organizations through our virtual platform.
Despite the ongoing pandemic, our Hands Only CPR Training Program adapted well to the virtual format and gave us the opportunity to continue training throughout the Commonwealth.

An additional milestone was achieved by reaching over 10,000 individuals trained in Hands-Only CPR and placing its 77th AED!

Whiskey Business: Scottish Highlands, which was a continuation of the Foundations signature event, raised funds beyond the goal.
Throughout the course of the year, we were informed of three lives that were saved because of CPR training and awareness from Gwyneth's Gift Foundation.

We have reached another milestone with over 15,000 individuals trained in Hands-Only CPR and we've placed 99 AEDs into our community.

Our Why

Meet Gwyneth Morgan Griffin. Gwyneth Morgan Griffin was born June 26, 1999, to Joel and Jennifer Griffin. Although born with a minor heart defect, she had a smile to share with the world. Gwyneth was a happy, carefree, loving, and beautiful young lady.

As a little girl, she was involved in many activities, including soccer, gymnastics, and Girl Scouts. However, her heart and natural talents drew her to dance. Gwyneth learned ballet, tap, jazz, and lyrical styles from the age of four but would ultimately fall in love with Irish dance.

Compassionate, thoughtful, gentle, and accepting are just a few words to describe Gwyneth as she grew. She was always understanding and willing to lend a helping hand to those around her. Every school year, she made sure to donate extra school supplies and buy toys and clothes during the holiday season for those that would otherwise go without. Once, she even gave her new coat to a friend who didn’t have one.

Whether it was her constant generosity or the simple gestures like saying “hello” or sharing a smile, making the lives of others a little brighter was part of who Gwyneth was. This kindhearted nature afforded her many friends, both young and old.

Being an active member of her school and community was essential to Gwyneth. She would often volunteer to help her teachers before and after school and was always willing to help younger students in school and dance class. Gwyneth was part of the Mural Club, Technology Student Association, and Student Council in middle school.

She had won the school science fair twice for her grade level and placed second in the Regional Science Fair. Her final accomplishment was being inducted into the National Junior Honor Society at the end of her 7th-grade year.

“Our daughter” are the most important words we would use to describe Gwyneth. She loved her family dearly. Gwyneth always greeted you at the end of the day with a smile and a hug and was the first to meet extended family members when they came to visit.

Her most important family role was as a sister. At age three, Gwyneth became a big sister and was always a cheerleader for everything her sister did. Having such a loving and selfless young lady fulfilled our life and, to this day, reminds us of the goodness that we should all share.

Remembering Gwyneth

Advocating for Gwyneth's Law

After Gwyneth Griffin passed away in 2012, Gwyneth’s parents, Joel and Jennifer, spent countless hours advocating in her honor to establish Gwyneth’s Law. In 2013, it was passed! 

Watch the video to hear Jennifer’s testimony in D.C., where she advocated on behalf of the American Heart Association in support of the student component of Gwyneth’s Law, which requires mandatory annual CPR training for Virginia high school graduates.

Supporting Those That Support Us

Get In Touch With Us

What is your why? Our why is Gwyneth. For Gwyneth. Because of Gwyneth.

Because of Gwyneth, we can save more lives and bring those loved ones home to their families. If you’re interested in supporting Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, would like you to reach out to participate in one of our programs, or are interested in joining our team, please reach out to us.

Kathleen Steininger

Director of Operations

Kathleen began her career in the nonprofit world after extensive volunteer work and a previous ​career in public service. As a military kid who has traveled the world she settled in Stafford County after getting her degree from Longwood University and accepting a position as a Sheriff’s Deputy. Kathleen has​ had a strong desire to give back and be an active member in her community as demonstrated through her prior leadership of the counties D.A.R.E program. She has​ been with Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation since 2017 where she employs her leadership skills as the Director of​ Operations, facilitating the organizations programs and oversight of the day-to-day operations. Being able to save a life is Kathleen’s “Why”, whether it’s a family member​ or a complete stranger, she wants to be able to help someone and make a difference.

Email: kathleen@gwynethsgift.org

Emily Ripka, CPSM

Marketing and Public Relations Manager

Emily began her Marketing career in the professional services industry, shortly after graduating from Longwood University with a degree in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing. She spent the last eleven years as a Marketer and Business Developer in the Architecture / Engineering / Construction world where she built relationships with industry and community leaders to help position and grow the firm. Emily has been a volunteer with Gwyneth’s Gift for several years and truly supports the mission of The Foundation. She is using her skills in graphic design, marketing, and business development to help spread awareness of Gwyneth’s Gift outside of the Fredericksburg region, helping us reach more people and further our Culture of Action.

Email: emily@gwynethsgift.org

Veronica Gutierrez

Interim Director of Operations and Event Manager

Veronica is a passionate and innovative professional with extensive experience in event management and marketing. She is passionate about event planning and will tap into her knowledge of event planning to develop, coordinate, and create memorable moments that inspire others to give. Veronica believes in giving back to the community and non-profit organizations hold a special place in her heart. She has​ been with Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation since 2021. Veronica holds a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount Los Angeles. She is married with three children ages 10, 11, and 24. When she is not full throttle and planning an event, she enjoys the outdoors and running.

Email: veronica@gwynethsgift.org