Giva Salutes: Goodwill Industries

At Giva we search for organizations, large and small, that are doing a great job of changing the world around them for the better; and we are pleased to salute them here.

Goodwill's core philosophy "A hand up, not a hand out" helped more than 260,000 people find employment opportunities last year. This nonprofit began in 1902 when the Reverend Edgar J. Helms collected household items from his Boston neighborhood and recruited volunteers to repair those items.

Goodwill Industries

Today, Goodwill functions in a similar way. An international network of over 165 Goodwill centers across the United States and Canada collect gently used donated goods, which are then resold at over 3,000 retail stores. Over 5.2 billion dollars have been generated by this national nonprofit, and over 80% of that funding goes towards providing employment services, education, and career training. Last December, Forbes ranked Goodwill as the 7th largest charity in America. The same year, Forbes recognized Goodwill as one of America's Top 20 Most Inspiring Companies.

Edgar J. Helms envisioned Goodwill as "an industrial program as well as a social service enterprise... a provider of employment, training, and rehabilitation for people of limited employ-ability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted." More than 9.8 million people last year accessed Goodwill services, whether they sought customized English-language speaking skills, career counseling, or volunteering opportunities.

Goodwill emphasizes the importance of education, and avidly partners with universities such as the University of Phoenix to help scholars of life discover their passions in the world. Goodwill's dedication to an all-inclusive community is demonstrated by its online training courses.

Donating to Goodwill directly helps others earn jobs. Goodwill's online donation calculator translates what might be seen as cluttered old household items to hours of career counseling for somebody in need. If an entire community opens their closets, and their hearts, to Goodwill's founder's vision of "banishing poverty and exploitation from mankind," then the idea becomes material, those dusty cabinets become somebody's pathway to education, and our society sees a brighter day ahead for all.