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History and Mission of Goodwill

Dr. Edgar J. Helms Jr. founded the Goodwill movement in Boston in 1902 based on one simple philosophy:

What people really want is “not charity, but a chance” to work.

His philosophy continues today in more than 200 independent Goodwill locations in 24 countries, including North America. Collectively, Goodwill Industries is the largest employer in the world of people with disabilities and annually helps a half-million people find work.

Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia was founded in 1975. When James K. Stiff came to Goodwill of Middle Georgia in 1994, the organization was still very small, employing only 60 individuals. Mr. Stiff saw the need for the services that Goodwill provides in the CSRA and added them in 1996. Since then, Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia and the CSRA has grown to more than 700 individuals on payroll and 12 retail training stores.

So the next time you donate to us, shop with us, or outsource your supplementary work to us, you are really helping to provide meaningful jobs to people who simply seek a hand up, not a handout.

We build lives, families and communities one career at a time by helping people develop their God-given gifts through education, work and career development services. To learn more about our services please visit our website at