Erin Runnion


I am the Founding Director of The Joyful Child Foundation, in memory of my daughter, Samantha Runnion, who was abducted and murdered in 2002.

I have decided that it is time to share my story and lessons learned about losing Samantha and protecting joy for myself and for children. 

If you’re looking for joyful inspiration to keep going, growing, and discovering who you are and what you’re capable of, I hope you’ll enjoy the Let’s Talk Joy podcast. Subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher, or GooglePlay

Click here for the latest Episode

#52: Joy is generosity for all

Let’s Talk Joy with Erin Runnion

Please scroll below for all previous episodes or subscribe!

It is my greatest honor to be a MOTHER

to Samantha Runnion and her 3 amazing siblings

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I am the Founder of The Joyful Child Foundation and we are dedicated to preventing crimes against children through programs that educate, empower, and unite families and communities.   Click the logo below to learn more.  #TheJoyfulChild 


I developed the Be Brave – Be Safe Empowerment Programs including an elementary school curriculum and community-based Workshops.

The new BRAVE Initiative to protect and empower every child with the knowledge and skills to recognize and respond effectively to inappropriate behaviors and potential safety risks will launch soon with multimedia lessons. #BeBraveBeSafe

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It is my calling and my joy to speak, teach, train, and inspire children, teens, parents, educators, community leaders, and audiences of all backgrounds to be brave, be safe, and protect their joy. 

Please send inquiries via email to

I have written my memoir, Be Brave: Losing Samantha – Protecting Joy, and I am working to have it published soon because I’m eager to finish my next book on BRAVE Parenting!

I am dedicated to creating a world where every child is a Joyful Child. #ProtectJoy



Episode #51: Joy is Generosity of Spirit

Episode #50: Joy is Generosity in Providing Protection and Safety

Episode #49: Joy is Generosity in Sharing

Episode #48: Joy is Generosity


Episode #47: Joy is Compassion Without Judgement

Episdoe #46: Joy is Compassion for the Others

Episode #45: Joy is Compassion for Yourself

Episode#44: Joy is Compassion


Episode 43: Joy is Living Gratitude

Episode 42: Joy is Gratitude Practice

Episode 41: Joy is Gratitude for Support

Episode 40: Joy is Gratitude


Episode 39: Joy is Effort – to Forgive

Episode 38: Joy is Effort – Acceptance

Episode 37: Joy is Effort – Humility & Humon

Episode 36: Joy is Effort – Perspective

Episode 35: Joy is Effort


Episode 34: Joy is Now – For Children

Episode 33: Joy is Now – How?

Episode 32: Joy is Now – Not Later

Episode 31: Joy is Now – Letting Go


Episode 30: Joy is Freedom in Summer

Episode 29 – Joy is Freedom for Children

Episode 28 – Joy is Freedom to Be – Published on July 15, 2019, the 17-year anniversary of Samantha’s abduction.

Episode 27 – Joy is Freedom from Fear


Episode 26 – Joy is Freedom

Episdoe 25 – Joy is Community – Society

Episode 24 – Joy is Community – Children

Episode 23 – Joy is Community – Colleagues & Peers

Episode 22 – Joy is Community – Family & Friends


Episode 21 – Joy is Empowerment – The Cycle

Episode 20 – Joy is EMPOWERMENT – What do you really want?

Episode 19Joy is EMPOWERMENT for children

Episode 18 – Joy is Empowerment


Episode 17 – Joy is Dedication to Passion

Episode 16Joy is Dedication to Development

Episode 15 – Joy is Dedication to Connection

Episode 14 – Joy is Dedication Beyond Ourselves

Episode 13 – Joy is Dedication to Children


Episode 12 – Joy is Acceptance of ALL OF IT!

Episode 11 – Joy is Acceptance of and for Children

Episode 10 – Joy is Acceptance of Self

In this episode, I share about my experience with personality tests as a tool for personal reflection and growth. Below are some quick links should you want to give it a try. These can be great conversation starters if you do them with your partner, children, family, co-workers, and friends.  Be brave and have fun!

https://www.gallupstrengthscenter.comStrengths Finder 2.0 From Gallup, by Tom Rath

I especially liked the first two above and older children would likely enjoy them.

Episode 9 – Joy is Acceptance – Part 1 – Situations Change


Episode 8 – Joy is Love -Part 4 – Life

Episode 7 – Joy is Love – Part 3 – Children

Episode 6 – Click here to listen to Joy is Love – Part 2 – Romantic Love 

In this episode I mention a music video and the list of questions that it is based upon and the links to those are below if you want to check them out. If you want to watch the moving music video for Wildfire by Seafret click here:

You will find the 36 questions that cultivate connection below:

Episode 5 (February) – Joy is Love -of Self


Episode 4 – Joy is Intentional Part 4 (Physical Body)

Episode 3 – Joy is Intentional Part 3 (Thoughts & Spirit) 

Episode 2 – Joy is Intentional Part 2 (The Heart) 

Click here for the 1st episode: Let’s Talk Joy: Joy is Intentional – Part 1