About Goodwill

How Goodwill Works

Goodwill Industries-Knoxville's mission is to provide vocational services and employment opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment. We are able to achieve our mission with the support of our community.

Donate - Donations help people and the environment! Clothing, furniture and household goods like books, toys and dishes stay in use and out of the landfill.
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Shop - Donated items are sorted and processed for resale in Goodwill retail stores, which provides an affordable shopping alternative for the community.
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Train - Profits from the sale of donated items go directly into Goodwill vocational training programs and employment services.
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Work - When given the proper training and counseling, individuals are able to overcome their barriers to employment to obtain and maintain meaningful employment and are able to contribute to their community.
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Our Impact

In 2018, Goodwill Industries-Knoxville served nearly 2,600 individuals through our job training programs. We operate 28 stores in 15 counties, which fund our five Employment Training and Rehabilitation Centers.

Goodwill agencies around the country serve more than 2.4 million people each year.

Goodwill Works: Success Stories

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 2,600 individuals in 2018, 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.


Donate Stuff. Shop Stores. Create Jobs.


Your donations help power our job training and rehabilitation programs and builds a stronger community. It's that simple.

By shopping at Goodwill, not only are you getting great deals, but the money you spend directly supports our mission to help people get jobs.