The Joyful Child Foundation
In Memory of Samantha Runnion
Dedicated to preventing crimes against children through programs that educate, empower, and unite families and communities.
Inspired by the tragic kidnapping and murder of five-year-old Samantha Runnion, The Joyful Child trains volunteers, community agencies, school teachers and parents to work together to create safer communities for children.
The Joyful Child Foundation was established in loving memory of Samantha Runnion. Samantha was a bright, creative, and loving little girl. She encouraged her friends and siblings to try their best and “Be Brave.” Samantha’s greatest gift was ﬁnding and sharing the joy in all that she did.
Erin Runnion is the mother of Samantha Runnion and the Founding Director of The Joyful Child Foundation. Erin is dedicated to ensuring that Samantha’s tragic death will continue to be a catalyst to engage adults in our collective responsibility to protect our nation’s children. Honors include A Certificate of Valor from The Department of Justice, People Magazine’s 2004 Heroes Among Us Award, and commendations from the California State Assembly.