Friends of Goodwill, be dissatisfied with your work until every handicapped and unfortunate person in your community has an opportunity to develop to his fullest usefulness and enjoy a maximum of abundant living."
--Goodwill Mission Statement
is one of the world's largest nonprofit
providers of employment and training services for people with disabilities and other socio-economic barriers such as welfare dependency, illiteracy
, a criminal record
The Goodwill philosophy of "a hand up, not a handout" was born in 1902 when Methodist minister Edgar J. Helms developed a plan to provide employment and job training for poor immigrants in Boston. Dr. Helms' vision of Goodwill was 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.
Helms put down-and-out
men and women to work restoring unwanted garments and other articles, giving them the opportunity to learn trades, skills, and modest wages
as they worked. This cycle of donations, processing, resale and wages has remained essentially intact through the years. When the Great Depression
produced mass unemployment, Goodwill narrowed the focus of its services to people with disabilities. Today Goodwill Industries
is a $1.4 billion nonprofit organization that provides people a chance to reestablish themselves in society with dignity and hope
Goodwill was formally incorporated in 1910 and housed in Boston's Morgan Memorial Chapel and became known as Morgan Memorial Cooperative Industries and Stores, Inc. It provided job skills training programs and even a placement service. The name Goodwill Industries was later adopted after a Brooklyn, NY affiliated workshop coined the phrase. The first Goodwill chapter west of the Mississippi was Goodwill Industries of St. Paul, MN founded in 1919 by a group of St. Paul civic leaders. In all, Goodwill Industries has 215 member organizations in the United States, Canada and 24 other countries.