Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana is a nonprofit, social enterprise whose mission is provide education, training and career services to individuals who face barriers, disadvantages or have a disability. Since 2005, Goodwill has helped more than 50,000 achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work.
Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana's, nine retail locations provide not only affordable goods and services, but also employment to those in need, and create a revenue stream to support Goodwill's charitable mission. In addition, a wide range of business services, including janitorial and grounds maintenance, allows Goodwill to expand further employment opportunities by contracting with federal, state, governmental and non-governmental organizations.
Goodwill also offers multiple job resource centers, equipped with job-search experts, computers, Internet access and telephones. Goodwill believes that work has the power to transform lives by building self-confidence, independence, creativity, trust and friendships. Everyone deserves this chance.
Goodwill Industries was founded by Edgar J. Helms (1863-1942), a Methodist minister from Boston, Massachusetts. Helms was interested in doing missionary work overseas, but doing to his marriage, this was not allowed. However, his church had other plans for him. The church assigned Helms to an inner city mission in South Boston. There, he was appalled at the conditions immigrants faced: no jobs, no food, no clothing, and no housing. Helms was determined to bring about change for South Boston's immigrants. Using burlap bags, Helms went door to door in Boston's wealthiest districts asking for clothing and any household donations for his mission.
Goodwill differed from most charities of the era because the donated goods were sold at a profit. And that profit was used to pay the men and women, who were considered unemployable in South Boston, for refurbishing the items donated. Goodwill employees made $4 a day and when money was scarce, they were paid with $5 clothing vouchers. Thus, the Goodwill movement and the philosophy of "a hand up, not a hand out" was born.
The term "Goodwill" was actually coined in 1915, and by 1920, there were 15 Goodwill stores. Today, there are 158 Goodwill territories and over three billion pounds of donations are collected and diverted from landfills.
In 1926, Goodwill Industries of Shreveport was started by the First United Methodist Church in downtown Shreveport. The store was housed in a Sunday school room until 1937, when Goodwill opened its first store on Texas Street. In 1936, the name was changed to Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana Rehabilitation Center, and the first clothing drives began in 1951 by the Boy Scouts. In 1971, Goodwill relocated to Tulsa Street and remained there for 16 years with the primary programming being retail. As Goodwill continued to grow and the city's landscape changed, Goodwill moved its headquarters to our present location at 800 West 70th Street in January 1987. In 2005, we updated our name to the Goodwill Industries of North Louisiana to reflect our growth in both our retail and program divisions throughout our 26 parish territory.
Goodwill Industries Improves People's Lives Through the Power of Work"
The purpose and vision of Goodwill is to ensure that every person finds a meaning, purpose and value in life by securing employment. This brings about change in not only the person, but the family and the community at-large.