Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts 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. Although every Goodwill shares a common philosophy of assisting people with disabilities or other critical needs in their efforts to work, each Goodwill is autonomous, allowing the individual agencies to respond to the needs of their particular communities.
• Goodwill SWFL is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been helping people with disabilities and disadvantages in the five county areas of Charlotte, Collier, Glades, Hendry, and Lee since 1966.
• We employ over 1,000 individuals throughout our service area, and we serve tens of thousands of individuals each year through our programs and services.
• Our programs and services are designed to provide a path for people to become more independent and live full lives. They include free employment services, free digital training, disability-accessible housing, adult day training for people with developmental disabilities, small business training, and community outreach services.
• Goodwill SWFL has Retail & Donation Centers throughout our service area which serve as the main revenue source to support our mission.
90¢ of every dollar supports our programs and services here in Southwest Florida.