History of Goodwill

Goodwill Industries-International was founded more than 100 years ago by Edgar James Helms, a Methodist minister in Boston, Massachusetts. In Boston, Helms sought ways to assist residents in the city's impoverished South End. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city and then hired and trained the poor and immigrants to repair the used goods. These donations were resold or given to the people who repaired them.

Since this time, Goodwill's mission has grown into an international movement, improving the quality of life for disabled and disadvantaged individuals around the world. 

Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. was founded in 1971 to fill the need for a community program for the young disabled population. The organization was meager in it's beginning, but has since expanded to serve nearly 3,000 individuals in 2017, employing over 400 staff members. Goodwill Industries-Knoxville, Inc. has grown into 28 retail locations and five employment training and rehabilitation centers throughout its 15 county service area in East Tennessee.

Our service area includes Anderson, Blount, Campbell, Claiborne, Cocke, Grainger, Hamblen, Jefferson, Knox, Loudon, Morgan, Roane, Scott, Sevier, and Union County.