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About Us

exterior of Goodwill headquarters

Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and a member organization of Goodwill Industries International. Goodwill sells donated goods to fuel its mission of job training and placement opportunities to help people create better futures by building their skills and finding jobs. $.92 of every $1.00 spent at Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids goes directly towards job training and placement services for those in need in our local communities.

Goodwill Industries International has 155+ local organizations in the United States and Canada, and a presence in 12 other countries dedicated to addressing poverty and unemployment for people with disabilities and other challenges to finding jobs. For more information about Goodwill Industries International Inc., visit
www.goodwill.org

 
logo for Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities

 

Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids has the highest level of accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services.

Our Mission

Changing lives and communities through the power of work.

 

Our Vision

The leader in the nation helping people achieve self-sufficiency.

 

Our Values

Integrity – We are honest, transparent, and accountable in our decisions and actions.
Stewardship – We commit to being socially, environmentally, and fiscally responsible with community resources.
Innovation – We continuously learn, embracing creativity and change.
Excellence – We continuously improve and deliver high value results.
Respect – We treat each other with dignity and fairness, value diversity, and commit to a safe environment.

 

 
Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids territory
Goodwill store exterior from the 1970's

Our History

Goodwill was founded in 1902 by Rev. Edgar J. Helms, in Boston, Massachusetts. Helms created the Goodwill philosophy of “a hand up, not a hand out.” He collected used household goods and clothing being discarded in wealthier areas of the city, and trained and hired people to mend and repair the used goods for resale. The original concept was so visionary that it is just as relevant today as it was nearly 120 years ago.

Local community leaders and United Way officials formed Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids in 1966 to serve people in Kent County. Goodwill of Greater Grand Rapids provides no-cost job training and placement services to individuals with barriers to employment. Every year, we serve our communities by providing them with the knowledge, skills, and confidence they need to achieve self-sufficiency for themselves and their families.

Goodwill Truck from the 1990's