Mission and History

Our Purpose

Changing Lives Through the Power of Work.

Our History

Goodwill Industries International was founded in 1902 by Reverend Edgar Helms, a Methodist minister.  Helms was seeking innovative ways to help the jobless, immigrant population in Boston. He began collecting unwanted household items and hired the jobless to repair and refurbish the items. Income from the resold items paid the workers' wages. The Goodwill method of self-help was born.

In the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Goodwill Industries of Central Michigan’s Heartland, Inc. (GICMH) was established in the Battle Creek and Jackson areas.  Since its founding, Goodwill has been in the business of helping people become self-sufficient through work.  Over the years, our Goodwill has expanded to serve communities in more than eight counties in Michigan.