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

President & Co-Founder

Joel Griffin

Chairman & Co-Founder

Shannon Frick

Program Manager

Veronica Gutierrez

Director of Operations and Community and Engagement

Erin Matuczinski

Development and Organizational Coordinator

Our History

2012
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.
2013
In 2013, it was passed! The law has three components:
  • AED placement in all public schools in Virginia; elementary, middle and high school
  • Mandatory 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.
2016
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.
2017
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”.
2018
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.
2019
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.
2020
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.
2021
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.
2022
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.
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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.

By providing your email and/or phone number, you are consenting to being contacted by The Foundation by email or text message.

Jennifer Griffin

President & Co-Founder

Jennifer Griffin is the Co-Founder and President of Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, with a career spanning education and advocacy. Her journey as an educator began in 1993, dedicating sixteen years to children’s education. However, a personal tragedy, the loss of her daughter, Gwyneth, ignited her passion for advocacy.

Through her tireless efforts, Jennifer made it her mission to bring the importance of CPR and AEDs to the public. Together with her husband Joel, they co-authored Gwyneth’s Law which was signed into law in 2013. Her passion for this mission continued in Maryland with Breanna’s Law in 2014, where she advocated for the CPR in Schools Campaign. Jennifer’s efforts had her working with the American Heart Association, shaping policies, testifying in national, state, and local legislative hearings, and participating in lobby days at all levels.

Jennifer is a Pennsylvania State University graduate, earning a Bachelor of Science in Elementary and Kindergarten Education. When not at The Foundation, she volunteers for a local horse rescue and enjoys learning, traveling, and experiencing new things with her family.

 

Email: jennifer@gwynethsgift.org 

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.

Email: joel@gwynethsgift.org 

Shannon Frick

Program Manager

Shannon is the Program Manager at Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, where she oversees all programs, including CPR & AED training, the AED program, the Scholarship program, and the volunteer program. Coming from a military family, Shannon has traveled the world but calls Northern Virginia her home after more than 20 years in the area.

She graduated from Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, with a degree in English and later earned an associate’s degree in emergency medical science from Northern Virginia Community College to pursue a career as a first responder. Shannon served as a professional Paramedic/Firefighter for 13 years with the Prince William County Department of Fire and Rescue. During her tenure, she spent over half of her career in the training division.

Shannon’s extensive instructional experience provides her with a deep understanding of effective teaching methodologies and practices, making her an invaluable asset in delivering successful CPR & AED training to all groups of all ages. Her role at Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation aligns perfectly with her background, as she works to equipe community members with the skills and confidence to perform Hands-Only CPR and use AEDs, ultimately saving lives.

When she is not instructing, Shannon enjoys spending time outdoors. She may be out snowboarding, paddleboarding with her corgi, training her deaf pitbull sign language commands – or just running after both of them with her fiancé at the dog park.

Email: SFrick@gwynethsgift.org 

Veronica Gutierrez

Director of Operations & Community Engagement

Veronica is the Director of Operations and Community Engagement at Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation. With a distinguished career marked by extensive experience in marketing, sales, and event management, Veronica brings her passion and innovation to the forefront of her work. Her wide and extensive career has honed her skills and strategic insight. Driven by an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of others, she draws upon her wealth of experience garnered both from her career and educational journey to steer her team towards success and achieving Gwyneth’s Gift organizational goals. Veronica’s deep-rooted dedication to non-profit organizations and community service highlights her values and aspirationsJoining Gwyneth’s Gift in 2021, Veronica holds a master’s degree in business administration from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Beyond her professional accomplishments, she is a dedicated wife and a mother of three. When she’s not immersed in her operational role, Veronica finds joy in the outdoors and her love for running. 

Erin Matuczinski

Development Manager

Erin is the Development & Organizational Coordinator for the Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation. A southern Virginia native, she graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a degree in communications and journalism. She holds a great passion for social and political advocacy, particularly in the fields of health and human rights. In her free time she loves to collect houseplants, read memoirs, and take trips to the beach.


Email: ErinM@gwynethsgift.org