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Goodwill Industries

Founded in 1902 by Reverend Edgar J. Helms, Goodwill Industries was established to provide used household goods and clothing to the poor. Helms hired poor people in the south Boston slums to pick up the donated wares and, if necessary, to make repairs or mend those items. Often, the people he hired to do the work received the goods. This philosophy is cited on the Goodwill Web site as “A hand up, not a hand out.”

By 1919, Helms had moved to Brooklyn, New York, and the business enterprise was growing. Goodwill Industries training shops and stores had opened in strategic centers representing communities from the east coast to the west coast, including Brookline, Massachusetts; Cleveland, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; and Los Angeles, California. During that time ...

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