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Goodwill Industries is a non-profit social enterprise that provides work opportunities, skills development and employee and family strengthening for people who face barriers such as disability or social disadvantage. The aim is to advance individuals, families and communities toward economic self-sufficiency and prosperity.
Goodwill creates jobs, and unites caring and business to develop individual and community potential.
On a number of enterprise platforms such as donated goods, thrift retail, recycling, logistics, food and hospitality, commercial services and light manufacturing, Goodwill creates jobs, and unites caring and business to develop individual and community potential. Goodwill’s commitment goes beyond providing a job and a paycheck. We provide benefits and have a strong program emphasis on training, access to education, career advancement, poverty reduction and social inclusion.
Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Determined to help poor immigrants, Rev. Helms implemented his innovative idea of collecting used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then training and hiring those who were poor or disabled 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 from this vision, the Goodwill philosophy of ‘a hand up, not a hand out’ was born. Dr. Helms’ vision set the course for what today has become a $5.87 billion non-profit, charitable organization.
Helms described Goodwill 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.’
A Circle of Hope
Goodwill is a circle of hope, dignity, and strength. When people give to Goodwill, shop in our stores, purchase food in our cafés or contract our business services, they help us fulfil our mission of creating jobs, and providing work opportunities and training to people who face barriers to employment and helping them realize their potential.
About Goodwill Industries International
Goodwill Industries International is a network of 161 community-based agencies in the United States and Canada with affiliates in 13 other countries. Goodwill agencies are innovative and sustainable social enterprises that fund job training programs, employment placement services and other community-based programs by selling donated clothing and household items in more than 2,700 stores and online at shopgoodwill.com. Local Goodwill agencies also build revenue and create jobs by contracting with businesses and government to provide a wide range of commercial services, including packaging and assembly, food service preparation, and document imaging and shredding. Last year, Goodwill helped more than 9.8 million people train for careers in industries such as banking, IT and healthcare, to name a few — and get the supporting services they needed to be successful — such as English language training, additional education, or access to transportation and child care.