Founded in 1957 as a not-for-profit, Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee’s mission is changing lives through education, training and employment.
At Goodwill we believe in giving a hand up, not a handout — a saying coined by Goodwill’s founder, the Rev. Edgar J. Helms. Helms worked as a missionary in the slums of Boston in the early 1900s. He hired the poor and needy to mend and repair used goods he collected from wealthy Bostonians. The refurbished items were resold, and the proceeds were paid as wages to the people who did the work. This became the basis for the mission of Goodwills throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Goodwill Industries of Middle Tennessee is based in Nashville, Tenn. The agency employs about 2,000 people and serves 48 counties throughout Middle and West Tennessee.