Goodwill Industries 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. Since then, Goodwill Industries International has expanded to more than 182 cities in the United States and 34 foreign countries.
Dr. Helms' vision set an early course for what today has become a $2.4 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." Although all Goodwills share a common philosophy of assisting people with disabilities or other critical needs in their efforts to become meaningfully employed and independent, each Goodwill is autonomous, allowing the individual agencies to respond to the needs of their particular communities.
Goodwill Industries of Central Texas is a private, non-profit, 501(c)3 organization dedicated to the mission of providing job-related services for people with barriers to employment. Established in 1958 in Austin, Goodwill served 69 people in its first year of operation. Goodwill now serves thousands of people annually, helping them to gain new job skills and start new lives of independence. Goodwill works in tandem with a wide variety of human service agencies in order to provide the best support network possible for people with disabilities and disadvantaging conditions who are seeking employment. Every day Goodwill helps 5 Central Texans find a job in our community.