The Story of Goodwill

Goodwill was formed in 1902 in Boston, Massachusetts by Methodist Minister Rev. Edgar J. Helms to help the poor find employment. Rev. 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. Goodwill's philosophy to provide "a hand up, not a handout" was thus born, and our successful beginnings allowed people to earn paychecks rather than receive charity. Today, there are 164 Goodwill organizations throughout the United States and Canada. Each organization is independently managed to serve the needs of its local community.

From this humble start, Goodwill San Antonio has continued its mission to help change lives through the power of work. We have grown to serve San Antonio and beyond, including the communities of Cibolo, Del Rio, Kerrville, Laredo, New Braunfels, and Seguin. Each year, Goodwill San Antonio assists tens of thousands of people within the 24-county territory it serves.

Evelyn on Goodwill Provides Second Chances

Our Mission

Helping Change Lives Through the Power of Work.

Our Vision

A community powered by a skilled workforce, successful businesses, and a strong economy.

Our Values

Our values of Service, Teamwork, Ethics, Passion, and Safety are the common beliefs and guiding principles by which we at Goodwill San Antonio carry out our Mission. They are what we stand for and reflected in everything we do. 

SERVICE: The Reason we exist. 
TEAMWORK: It is our key enabler. 
ETHICS: Doing the right things when no one is looking. 
PASSION: A heart-felt commitment. 
SAFETY: The most fundamental aspect of taking care of people. 

Meeting our community where they are at is vital to their succes. The following outlines our approach on a case-by-case basis. 

1. Find a Job

Helping people find immediate employment through job readiness coaching and job placement assistance.

We serve people who face difficult circumstances, yet have the courage and commitment to want to do better. For those who have a disability, lack education, previous incarceration, unstable housing, or face other barriers we provide individualized career plans and job placement assistance. Employment, particularly for individuals with barriers, is essential for economic stability, health care, and empowerment of self-worth.

By providing employment opportunities for people facing barriers, Goodwill helps strengthen the overall health of our community.

2. Find a Better Job

Preparing people for upward mobility through skills training.

We provide upskilling training designed to build 21st century skills to prepare people for advancement into better jobs - full-time jobs, jobs with benefits, jobs with living wages and above.  Jobs that work for the people who work in them.   

3. A Career Path

Empowering people to advance into high demand career paths through industry-recognized vocational skills certification training.

Goodwill’s vocational training provides affordable vocational training to individuals who have chosen to move out of low-wage jobs into high growth occupations in the San Antonio region, allowing for a career track that puts them on the pathway to prosperity.