The History of Goodwill
GOODWILL HISTORY IN THE U.S.
Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms. An 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. There are now 162 Goodwill chapters in the United States and Canada.
GOODWILL HISTORY IN SAN FRANCISCO, SAN MATEO AND MARIN
In the Bay Area, Helms worked with the Rev. Samuel Quickmire to establish Goodwill of San Francisco at an earthquake shelter at 16th and Mission streets in 1916. As the third Goodwill in the United States, it spawned an additional seven Goodwill operations in Northern California over the next 20 years. Goodwill San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin is now headquartered at 295 Bay Street.
Today, Goodwill San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin stands as the original social enterprise model with 20 popular retail locations, 26 donation sites and a thriving eCommerce shopping platform. A beloved and trusted community resource, Goodwill serves the region’s neediest neighborhoods by providing critical job training and support services that transform the lives of thousands of individuals and families through the power of work.