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Goodwill Industries of Southern California ~ Cypress Park

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Goodwill Industries International (Goodwill) is one of the world’s largest nonprofit providers of education, training, and career services for people with disadvantages, such as welfare dependency, homelessness, and lack of education or work experience, as well as those with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

Goodwill Industries operates as a network of 185 independent, community-based organizations in the U.S., Canada and 15 other countries. In 2006, local Goodwills collectively earned more than $2.96 billion, and provided employment and training services to more than 946,000 individuals. Goodwill Industries places someone in a job every 56 second of every business day.

Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them. 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 today has become a $2.96 billion nonprofit organization. Helms described Goodwill Industries as an "industrial program as well as a social service enterprise...a provider of employment, training and rehabilitation for people of limited employability, and a source of temporary assistance for individuals whose resources were depleted."

Through its 21st Century Initiative, Goodwill Industries aims to improve the economic self-sufficiency of 20 million people and their families by 2020. Times have changed, but Helms’ vision remains constant. "We have courage and are unafraid. With the prayerful cooperation of millions of our bag contributors and of our workers, we will press on till the curse of poverty and exploitation is banished from mankind."

Source: Wikipedia

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