Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister, founded Goodwill Industries in 1902 in Boston Massachusetts. Dr. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then hired and trained destitute people and immigrants to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or 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 would one day become a $5.6 billion dollar organization. Helms described Goodwill Industries as both 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."
The first Goodwill in Texas was founded in 1923 in Dallas. A group of women from the Southern Methodist Church held a clothing drive as a fundraising project inside a 100 square foot settlement house in the heart of Dallas. The project blossomed into a successful operation that was later named Goodwill Industries of Dallas. In 1945 Gerald Clore, executive director, saw a vision of Goodwills around the state. With his assistance and local rotary clubs, Goodwill Industries of San Antonio and Goodwill Industries of Houston opened their doors in 1945.
Today, in the state of Texas, Goodwill has grown to 15 corporate offices with over 140 locations. Goodwill is part of an international network of over 161 Goodwills in the U.S. and Canada with 14 Goodwill affiliated organizations in other countries around the world. Collectively, Goodwill Industries is the largest provider of vocational skills training in the world.