"They don't want anything, except to be a guiding hand leading folks to better days."
December 9, 2018
About Mark & Joi
Executive Director and Co-Founder Mark Smith’s past trials and tribulations inform his approach to persons in need: he supports and uplifts them with honor, honesty and decency. He also knows what it takes to reach the homeless, ex-offenders, chemically addicted, mentally challenged, and myriad others who experience life’s difficult periods.
Mark is a leader whose visionary qualities propel the organization. A charismatic communicator, he is responsible for carrying out the mission of Joi’s Angels and for inspiring volunteers, staff and stakeholders to believe that achieving big dreams is, in fact, possible.
As architect of all organizational goals and objectives, he shepherds organizational resources. He approaches these responsibilities with an unrivaled and infectious passion and energy, aimed at the service of others.
At the operational level, his management style is simple: he would never ask another to do something that he would not do himself. Leading the Angel Crew, he manages the properties and coordinates bulk food transport, as well as furniture and toy pickup/distribution.
Where Mark is the leader, Joi Smith, Co-Founder and Assistant Director, is the manager. Her background in finance, purchasing and event planning enables her to manage all administrative, organizational and outreach efforts. She began her service career as a volunteer with The First Presbyterian Baptist Church, Elizabeth, New Jersey. Shortly after joining the church as a volunteer, the pastor asked Joi to join the organization as a paid staff member, where she continued her pantry and event planning work. Her affinity for order and ability to get the job done right made her the ideal partner to help Joi’s Angels spread its wings.
She approaches both clients and volunteers with compassion, neither judging nor refusing any person who asks for help. From soliciting toy donations for the annual Christmas Carnival (which has outgrown its former location and is now held at Essex County College) to washing and ironing t-shirts for the volunteers to making care packages, Joi is an indefatigable community organizer.
Mission-driven, Mark and Joi labor diligently. And their humble approach to work and to all whom they encounter leaves most unaware of literally countless accolades and awards bestowed upon them by governmental and community organizations. Both Mark and Joi sit on boards as trustees of several organizations.