We believe in the power of work to strengthen individuals and transform lives. We envision persons with barriers to employment being able to choose rewarding employment, achieving financial security, and building careers and lives for themselves and their families, thus enriching our communities.
We invite you to watch the video below to see our mission in action:
In 1902, a Methodist minister, Reverend Edgar J. Helms, pioneered an organization in Boston’s South End that gave people hope, dignity, and independence. Fifty-three years later, a small group of concerned Hagerstown businessmen saw the need for their community to join Rev. Helms’ movement, now known as Goodwill Industries, which became the 100th Goodwill franchise in the United States. At that time, Hagerstown was the smallest city in America to have such a franchise.
The founders were Richard Grumbacher, Max Greenwald, D. E. Stultz, J. H. Bayliss, Harold Porter, and David W. Byron. Harvey Kettering was hired as the first CEO of the new organization. By August 1955, 17 persons were employed, and our first store was opened on September 30, 1955. Mr. Kettering served in his role as CEO until 1959. During his tenure, stores were opened in Hagerstown, Hancock, Cumberland, Waynesboro, and Martinsburg.
These individuals who were instrumental in founding Hagerstown Goodwill Industries could not have imagined the organization as it exists today. Since then, the organization has grown into one of the most respected and successful non-profit agencies in the quad-state region. The organization currently provides or is developing services in 17 counties throughout parts of Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Virginia. Fifteen retail stores are also located throughout the assigned territory. The name was changed to Horizon Goodwill Industries to better reflect the organization’s widespread outreach.
Reverend Edgar J. Helms’ original concept was visionary, for it is just as relevant today as it was over 100 years ago. His social innovation set in motion a worldwide movement that would transform more than 5 million lives over a century – all through the power of work.
If you want to learn more about the history of Goodwill, check out Goodwill International’s website http://www.goodwill.org/.