Wanda Jones is the President of Elijah’s Blessings Non Profit Corporation since January 2001. Ms. Jones has served the underserved in her community and helped the less fortunate to strive and attain better for over 25 years. She enjoys working with the youth to empower them to become the best version of themselves. She enjoys helping the community to live healthy and whole lives and to rebuild themselves one family at a time.
Ms. Jones also served as the Director of the East Orange Police Athletic League, East Orange New Jersey for 12 years (2004-2016). This organization was one of the largest in New Jersey and it severed over 1,500 youth throughout the year, over 35 volunteer police officers, LISC Volunteers and local college students. Additionally, she had a substantial parental volunteer base to help maintain this successful organization. She directed over 9 athletic programs, several mentoring programs, cultural/performing arts programs, ground-breaking educational/recreational summer program and a successful anti-bullying and anti-gang affiliation programs with a strong community outreach program and a comprehensive workshop series for both the youth and the community. Ms. Jones introduced Financial Literacy programs via collaborations with local financial institutions to help the PAL families and the community residents get out of debt, increase their credit scores and help them to qualify for first time homeownership programs and/or mortgages.
Ms. Jones raised over 4.5 million dollars during her grant/grass root fundraising efforts. She raised another 3.7 million dollars in retail donations that was provided to the families and local communities, she donated over 1 million dollars worth of books by African American Authors to local schools and community libraries, collected over a 1 million dollar donation of clothing from Talbots and the Gap and shipped the donation to the Victims of Katrina devastation. Additionally, she and her team donated a tractor trailer filled with Dell Printers to local non-profit organization and schools.
She has held numerous leadership positions with local fortune 500 organizations with the top Executives, oftentimes serving two or three Executives and managing their travel calendars, meeting calendars and day to day schedules. While working for one of these fortune 500 organization, a local hospital, she was part of the grant writing team that secured a CDC grant for 3.5 million dollars to combat HIV and to offer free testing and the ability to obtain results within 15 minutes to the less fortunate in the community.
Ms. Jones is a trailblazer, she was the first to introduce a group of youth leaders to become Toast Master Members where they prepared to host a huge meeting with their congressional and state representatives along with local government to address violent crimes against youth that was happening at an alarming rate. It also was the first time that a local NJ Transit membership had a youth component. This became the birthing of firsts for both groups. The outcome was astounding and a huge success. These young people have gone on to become youth leaders and a few came back to work with Ms. Jones as mentors.
Ms. Jones has sat on several committees and boards (i.e., Newark Boys and Girls Club, Broadway Unit) to help improve and empower youth and the resident in the community. She has a heart for people and helping to bring quality change to their lives. If she can be of service, she will not leave one stone unturned until the matter is addressed for the betterment.
On a leisure day you can catch Ms. Jones at a Gospel/Jazz concert or taking in a ballet or a cultural performance. Ms. Jones love to read and she loves to have stimulating conversations about life and its evolution and just recently she has frequently been seen hanging out at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx.