Nonprofit founder speaks to Rider students about building successful organization

James Angiolino of Joey’s Little Angels appeared March 30
Michelle Wood '17

Rider University’s Chapter of Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda and Beta Alpha Si, the national honor society that recognizes excellence in students of accounting, finance and computer information systems, teamed up to host a business and community service event at Rider. On Wednesday, March 30, the founder and chairman of the nonprofit organization Joey’s Little Angels came to Rider to speak about how he built his successful organization.

Joey’s Little Angels was created by James and Nicole Angiolino when their son, Joey, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Hurler’s Syndrome at 7 months of age. The disease affects a specific enzyme that does not allow the body to break down long chains of sugar molecules. If untreated, the prognosis for Joey was grim and his life expectancy, at best, was five years. Before Joey turned a year old, he received a double chord blood transplant and his family hoped for a miracle. After a tremendous battle, Joey passed away in July 2010 at 15 months old.

The Angiolino family created a nonprofit organization to raise awareness of Joey’s disease and other families with sick children. In Italian, Angiolino means "little angel," thus the name Joey's Little Angels. The nonprofit has donated over $50,000 to the Duke Pediatric Bone Marrow Transplant Family Support Program and other families who have a child seeking medical treatment.

James Angiolino spoke to students about how to start their own nonprofits and the benefits of giving back to the community. Through the large amount of success Joey's Little Angeles has achieved, James has learned a lot about the business world and how to operate a nonprofit. Joey’s Little Angels has been supported by Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, Chris Paul of the Los Angeles Clippers, James Harden of the Houston Rockets and many more. 

To learn more about Joey's Little Angels, please visit For any other questions, please contact Kelsey Johnson at [email protected]