NEWARK, NJ — Joi’s Angels, a nonprofit organization based in East Orange, will host its annual Christmas Carnival in the Essex County College Gymnasium on West Market Street in downtown Newark on Saturday, Dec. 16, from 2 to 7 p.m.
According to Joi’s Angels founders Mark and Joi Smith, this year’s event will feature carnival games, refreshments, music by DJ Tameil from Power 101.7 FM, dancing, senior Bingo, raffles, prizes and Shanice Williams, from the Broadway music “The Wiz Live.” A small donation purchases 120 game tickets.
“We’re here today to talk about the Christmas party that’s going to be held down at Essex County College on Dec. 16. It’s called Essex County Christmas Carnival. It starts at 2 p.m.,” said Mark Smith on Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the city of East Orange’s annual Tree-lighting and Toy Giveaway at City Hall. “You must come out. It’s a must-go event. We’re going to have everything. We have something for the seniors. We have something for the babies. We have a baby shower. We have a senior bingo. We’re having the girl who is live from ‘The Wiz.’ She’s going to come out and sing for us. We also have gifts for everybody and it’s also a carnival. So please, come on out and have fun. Come out and have a good time and join us for the Christmas festivities and a good time.”
“On Dec. 16, I will be with Joi’s Angels,” confirmed Naimah Hall, founder of the Passion for Purpose nonprofit foundation, Tuesday, Dec. 5. “I am one of their sponsors. I will be down at Essex County College, we are having a carnival for the youth, and also, on Christmas morning, Passion for Purpose will be in University Hospital, giving toys to all the children in the hospital.”
Joi Smith said she is grateful for Hall’s support, which is indicative of the kind of their organization’s community spirit. She added that she and her husband plan to reciprocate whenever Hall needs them.
The Smiths participated in the Tree-lighting and Toy Giveaway that always marks the start of the holiday season in the city of East Orange, to support the efforts of outgoing Mayor Lester Taylor and Recreation Department Director Osner Charles.
“This is a wonderful event. We’re here to support it,” Joi Smith said Tuesday, Dec. 5, at the event, as the Cicely Tyson Middle School chorus performed on the steps inside the City Hall rotunda. “We work with a lot of nonprofits. They work with us. We support them, they support us, because we’re all about oneness. So this is a great event.”
Mark Smith said the goal of the Joi’s Angels Essex County Christmas Carnival is to get bigger and better each year, and continue to serve as many as possible in East Orange and throughout the surrounding area. The event used to be held inside Calvary-Roseville United Methodist Church on Main Street, but moved to Essex County College to handle greater attendance.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to do great things for our community. I believe everybody should do for their community,” he said. “Being that we’re Joi’s Angels, I think that God has given us and put us in a position that we can cause and effect, so that we can all come together as a community and work together as a community. … The thing with Joi’s Angels is that we promote family, we promote oneness and we promote love. If we don’t show you love, we’re not going to show you anything at all.”