About us

Locally, Heart of Texas Goodwill
Industries, Inc. was founded in Waco in 1955

Since 1955, Heart of Texas Goodwill has believed the power of work changes lives.

Edgar J. Helms

The roots of Goodwill originated in 1902, when Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister from Boston, accepted a challenge to serve as a settlement worker among the poor immigrants of Boston’s South End. Inspired by compassion for people with disabilities and disadvantaging conditions, he sought a way to improve their quality of life.

Helms took a burlap sack and began traveling to the wealthier areas of the city, asking for unwanted garments and other goods. Poor men and women were then put to work at the dilapidated Morgan Memorial Chapel restoring the collected items, learning trades, and acquiring skills as they worked. Once the items were repaired, they were resold and the money was used to pay the wages of the workers. This cycle of donating, repairing, selling, and paying wages was the beginning of Goodwill Industries — and remains essentially intact today.

Helms pioneered an organization that gave people hope, dignity, and independence. His social innovation set in motion a worldwide movement that would transform millions of lives – all through the power of work.

Locally, Heart of Texas Goodwill Industries, Inc. was founded in Waco in 1955 through the efforts of individuals who recognized the need for vocational training and employment opportunities. Throughout the decades, Goodwill has stayed focused on this mission, while expanding and improving services to meet the new and emerging needs of the communities served by the agency.

Goodwill at a Glance:

  • Heart of Texas Goodwill serves 20 counties
  • Operates 12 Retail Stores and Donation Centers,
    2 Outlet Stores and 3 Alternate Donation Centers
  • Facilitates vocational training and mission service programs at 4 Job Connections located in Waco, Temple, Killeen and Bryan
  • Provided services to 2,655 individuals through Job Connections in 2021
  • Placed 213 job seekers into employment

Heart of Texas Goodwill Strategic Plan 2023-2025