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Our Rich History

History Timeline

Goodwill Industries International has a rich history of more than 120 years. Dr. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister, founded Goodwill in 1902 in Boston, MA. Dr. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired unemployed people to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold, and proceeds paid the workers’ wages and were invested in the development of job training programs. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of a hand up, not a hand out was born. Dr. Helms’ vision set an early course for what has become a $6 billion nonprofit organization with more than 165 autonomous member organizations worldwide.

1902
Goodwill Founded by Dr. Edgar J. Helms
1975
Goodwill Industries of Middle Georgia, Inc. was founded
1994
Conducted Community Assessment to Determine What New Services Goodwill Needed to Develop in the Mid-state Area
1995
First Job Connection Opens in Macon
1996
Goodwill expanded its territory into Augusta, Georgia and Aiken, South Carolina
2006
Edgar’s Bistro Opens
2007
Helms College was established in Macon
2012
Helms College Opened a Second Campus in Augusta Offering Education in Culinary Arts at its School of Hospitality
2013
Edgar’s Grille Opens
2016
Helms College Augusta Campus Began Offering Classes at its School of Health Services
2018
Edgar’s Hospitality Group begins management
2020
Edgar’s Above Broad Opens
2021
Edgar’s Bakehouse Opens