What We Do:
Goodwill Industries is all about people working.
We are North America’s leading nonprofit provider of education, training, and career services for people with disadvantages, such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience, as well as those with physical, mental and emotional disabilities. In 2008, local Goodwills collectively provided employment and training services to more than 1.525 million individuals.
We believe that work has the power to transform lives by building self-confidence, independence, creativity, trust and friendships. Everyone deserves a chance to have these.
Goodwill provides that chance.
Goodwill Industries International enhances the dignity and quality of life of individuals, families, and communities by eliminating barriers to opportunity and helping people in need reach their fullest potential through the power of work.
Every person has the opportunity to achieve his/her fullest potential and participate in and contribute to all aspects of life.
Respect - We treat all people with dignity and respect.
Stewardship - We honor our heritage by being socially, financially, and environmentally responsible.
Ethics - We Strive to meet the highest ethical standards
Learning - We challenge each other to strive for excellence and to continually learn.
Innovation - We embrace continuous improvement, bold creativity and change.
For more than 100 years, Goodwill has witnessed the Power of Work in peoples' lives.
Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of "a hand up, not a hand out" was born.
Dr. Helms' vision set an early course for what today has become a $3.2 billion nonprofit organization. Helms described Goodwill Industries as an "industrial program as well as a social service enterprise...a provider of employment, training and rehabilitation for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted."
Even with a laudable history and record of accomplishment, Goodwill won’t be satisfied when so many people still need our services. Through our 21st Century Initiative, we aim to improve the economic self-sufficiency of 20 million people and their families by 2020. Times have changed, but Helms’ vision remains constant. "We have courage and are unafraid. With the prayerful cooperation of millions of our bag contributors and of our workers, we will press on till the curse of poverty and exploitation is banished from mankind."