Goodwill Industries of Northern New England enables persons with diverse challenges to achieve personal stability and personal engagement.
It was the recognition of the basic human need to work that led Edgar J. Helms to establish what is now known as Goodwill Industries, over a century ago. Working in the settlement houses in South Boston, he saw new Americans who were lacking in basic essentials: food, and clothes - dignity.
So, he took it upon himself to solve the problem. He went with horse, buggy and burlap bags to the homes of Beacon Hill. From their generosity, he clothed those in need. Yet he saw that giving away the donated goods didn’t affect the change that was needed. People were still broke, hungry, and unemployed. And, they had no prospects for employment. They needed a way to provide and care for their families – they needed jobs, and those were scarce. It was then that the Goodwill enterprise was born - a solution created.
Edgar Helms created Goodwill jobs out of those donated goods. In turn, those jobs gave individuals and families who had come to this nation with high hopes – yet who had been barely holding on – a real chance to build their new lives and become active participants in their community.
Over one hundred years later, his model is still in place. As a social enterprise grounded in the notion that work – a decent job – changes lives, Goodwill hires, trains and generates revenue through our retail operations. That revenue helps fund our other services for people who face seemingly insurmountable challenges in life. – less