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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.
90 cents of every dollar supports our programs and services here in Southwest Florida.