Local Nonprofit Saving One Life at a Time

April 25, 2019

Teaching our Children Well


From conception to forever, we as parents do all we can to ensure our little ones grow up to be individuals who are responsible, productive, and kind. We teach them important life skills like how to clean their room, how to stand up for themselves, and how to call 911 in case of an emergency. But what about how to save a life?

Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation, a local nonprofit in the Fredericksburg area, has set out to do just that. Gwyneth’s Gift is giving the gift of life by teaching community members the skills to be able to help save a life. 

About Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation

Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation was formed in 2015 by Joel and Jennifer Griffin. In 2012, their daughter, Gwyneth, suffered a devastating and unrecoverable anoxic brain injury due to the length of time before she received CPR. 


Seven weeks later, just after her 13th birthday, Gwyneth passed away.  Subsequently, Gwyneth’s Law was put into place in 2013. The Griffins worked countless hours in the name of Gwyneth to establish Gwyneth’s Law which has three components:

  1. Required AED placement in elementary, middle, and high schools in the state of Virginia
  2. Mandatory CPR training for all teachers in Virginia
  3. CPR training for Virginia high school graduates annually

Once Gwyneth’s Law was put into place, Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation was formed to serve as a catalyst to ensure that those suffering from an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest have a greater chance of survival because they were provided with immediate life-saving measures from a community member educated on how to administer CPR and how to utilize an AED. 

Building a Lasting Legacy

Since inception, Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation has trained over 3,000 individuals in Hands-Only CPR and how to use an AED. In addition, the Foundation has placed 27 AEDs throughout the Commonwealth and have reported six lives saved thanks to the skills taught through the Foundation Training Program. 

Gwyneth’s Gift has four Foundation Programs; Training, AED, Awareness and Scholarship, all of which work together to create a CULTURE of Action. 

  • Defibrillation is an essential step in the chain of survival and AEDs are the only device that can be used to restart the heart of someone suffering a cardiac arrest which is why placement of AEDs into the community is so critical. Through the Foundation AED Program, Gwyneth’s Gift has made it possible to place AEDs into high-needs and high-traffic locations throughout the community. Gwyneth’s Gift has made it a goal to place at least one AED into the community EVERY month. 
  • The Training Program offers FREE Hands-Only CPR training and will also show you how to use an AED. Gwyneth’s Gift often travels to businesses, organizations, churches, and even small groups to train individuals these life-saving skills. The Foundation’s Training Program is rapidly growing. As of April 2019, Gwyneth’s Gift has made their way into Northern Virginia and in May, they will continue their growth by training a middle school of 1,300 students the skills to help save a life.
  • Gwyneth’s Gift’s Awareness Program focuses on explaining the importance of bystander CPR through attending public speaking engagements, community-based events, and conferences. 
  • Each year, through the Scholarship Program, Gwyneth’s Gift Foundation offers a number of scholarships to deserving Stafford County High School seniors. Applicants must demonstrate living “beyond themselves” and best exemplify the virtues that most represent Gwyneth Griffin – compassion, service, leadership, determination and acceptance. 

What’s unique about Gwyneth’s Gift is that 100 percent of donations go towards funding the Foundation Programs which educate and inform the public on how to save a life! Through these four inspiring programs, the Foundation hopes to create a community that is educated, confident, and capable of saving a life. It is their belief that Gwyneth’s Gift is a world where everyone can save a life!

Making a Difference in the Community, One Event at a Time

Gwyneth’s Gift hosts a variety of events and fundraisers in the community to promote the importance of bystander CPR. Events vary from FREE Hands-Only CPR training with local businesses such as Highmark Brewery to charity days with favorite Fredericksburg eateries. Their most recent event with Castiglia’s Sky Bar raised almost $3,000 for their Foundation Programs! Community events like these are vital in spreading awareness, not only about Gwyneth’s Gift, but about their initiative in creating a safer community. 

Mom Prom ‘Dancing Through the Decades, Gwyneth’s Gift’s upcoming ladies only event this May, is Fredericksburg’s first ever Mom Prom. This event is particularly special to the Foundation because it celebrates Gwyneth’s life and love of dancing through the theme ‘Dancing Through the Decades’. The event will be held on May 18th at Castiglia’s Event Hall in Downtown Fredericksburg. It will be an unforgettable night complete with heavy hors d’oeuvres, specialty cocktails, dancing, a silent auction, a new photobooth experience and a Mom Prom Queen Basket worth over $1,000 to be raffled off! The evening will conclude with the raffle where the winner will be crowned Fredericksburg’s first Mom Prom Queen – an honor all attendees have the chance to win. To better the chances of becoming the first Mom Prom Queen in the area, and to be awarded with the luxurious Queen Basket, Gwyneth’s Gift is giving away FIVE free raffle tickets to anyone that purchases their ticket to Mom Prom ‘Dancing Through the Decades’ between April 25th and May 5th – an opportunity you don’t want to miss out on! Tickets are available HERE.