– Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County announces that 2021 marks 100 years of providing job and related services to underserved individuals across the state of Delaware.
Goodwill began in 1902 when Reverend Edgar Helms, a Methodist minister in Boston, began going door-to-door in wealthy neighborhoods collecting used household goods and clothing. He trained and hired immigrants and the less fortunate to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them.
Reverend John Beauchamp, a minister at the Asbury Methodist Church in Wilmington was impressed with Reverend Helm’s work and brought the philosophy home to Delaware. In March of 1921, Goodwill of Delaware became the sixteenth Goodwill to be incorporated.
In 1968 Goodwill of Delaware separated from the Methodist Church, making it the oldest, non-religious affiliated nonprofit 501(c)(3) providing vocational services in the state of Delaware. With the dissolution of the Goodwill of Southeastern Pennsylvania in the early 1990s, Goodwill of Delaware absorbed Delaware County, Pennsylvania into its territory in 1992. Today, the organization’s operations across the state of Delaware and Delaware County, Pennsylvania include a total of 16 retail stores, three attended donation centers, an Outlet and recycling center, two job resource centers and the Goodwill Center in Wilmington which houses a specialty retail store, donation center, warehouse, e-commerce operations, job resources center, administrative offices, and central operations of Goodwill’s industrial/janitorial and temporary staffing services.
Goodwill of Delaware and Delaware County continues to embody the philosophy of “giving a hand up, not a handout” by providing employment, training, and rehabilitation services to thousands of individuals with disabilities and other challenging experiences such as homelessness, history of incarceration, lack of education or work experience. Goodwill strengthens the regional community and economy by taking a holistic approach to providing the resources people need to obtain and maintain employment while offering essential services in the communities it serves.
“Goodwill has grown over our 100-year history to become a leading community-based organization providing workforce development services throughout Delaware & Delaware County, PA. It all starts with the support of our community through donations that generate sales in our retail locations, recycling initiatives, and business support of our temporary staffing and industrial cleaning services. I am so proud of the work that we have been able to accomplish over the years,” said CEO Colleen Morrone in a statement. “In 2020, we were able to keep many of our team members employed throughout the pandemic with our industrial/janitorial and temporary staffing programs providing essential services in our communities.” Ms. Morrone went on to say, “2020 presented us opportunities to serve businesses and government entities in new ways, just as we are serving people in more holistic ways than we have in the past. As we embark upon our next 100 years we look forward to continually evolving the ways in which we serve our community, while remaining true to our vision of empowering people, strengthening families, and building communities, all through the Power of Work!
Goodwill’s official 100-year anniversary is March of 2021; however the organization will celebrate their centennial all year long.