Joi’s Angels to host annual Holiday Giveaway on Dec. 20

Photo by Chris Sykes
Joi’s Angels non-profit charity co-founder Joi Smith, second from left, and a few of her volunteers stand together on Saturday, June 16, at the Champions of Tomorrow boxing match in the Campus High School gymnasium. Joi’s Angels provided all the free snacks and beverages that were available at the event. Joi’s Angels will be hosting an annual Joliday Giveaway on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Food Pantry and Farmers Market at 400 Main St.

EAST ORANGE, NJ — Mark Smith and his wife, Joi, formed the Joi’s Angels nonprofit organization to help people in need throughout the year, and especially during the annual holiday season.

The East Orange-based organization hosts its Holiday Giveaway on Thursday, Dec. 20, from 9 a.m. to noon, at the Food Pantry and Farmers Market at 400 Main St.

“This year’s giveaway is not a special event,” said Joi Smith on Sunday, Dec. 2. “It is our regular food pantry date. Whatever holiday donations we receive, we will give out on that day.”

“Joi’s Angels is a community organization that does terrific work in the East Orange area and we have partnered with them and we had church on Sunday and afterward we had dinner for the congregation and anyone else that came out to the church,” said Calvary-Roseville United Methodist Church Pastor Veronica Palmer on Monday, Dec. 19, 2016, two days after the Joi’s Angels annual Holiday Party and Toy Giveaway, which took place at the church that year. “It was a good thing, because nothing went to waste. They ate all the food and we gave away all of the toys that we still had remaining from the day before on Saturday. It was a blessing all around.”

Last year, former Newark Board of Education President Marquise Quinn-Lewis came out to the annual Christmas Carnival in the Essex County College Gymnasium, where Joi’s Angels did their even, and said he was glad he did. It featured carnival games, refreshments, music by DJ Tameil from Power 101.7 FM, dancing, Senior Bingo, raffles, prizes and special guest Shanice Williams from the Broadway musical “The Wiz Live.”

“I think it was a great experience,” said the Quinn-Lewis on Saturday, Dec. 16, 2017. “I saw a lot of families leave happy. The kids were happy; it was a packed house. This was the place to be today.”

Joi Smith said this year’s Holiday Giveaway would be “the place to be” in East Orange. Her husband said the couple always strives to make their charitable activities into focal points on the city’s event calendar.

“You must come out. It’s a must go event,” said Mark Smith on Dec. 5, 2017, at East Orange’s annual Tree-Lighting and Toy Giveaway at City Hall. “We’re going to have everything. We have something for the seniors. We have something for the babies. We also have gifts for everybody. So please come on out and have fun. Come out and have a good time and join us for the Christmas and holiday festivities and a good time.”

“It’s a good opportunity for us to do great things for our community. I believe everybody should do for their community,” he added. “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. Instead of it being about Joi’s Angels, we can all come together people, coming out and joining together, so that we can all be one. 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.”

For more information about Joi’s Angels or to make a donation to the Holiday Giveaway, call 973-395-4348 or visit