History

HelmsGoodwill was formed in 1902 in Boston by Methodist Minister Rev. Edgar J. Helms to help the poor find employment. Rev. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of the city, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were then resold or were given to the people who repaired them.

Goodwill’s philosophy to provide “a hand up, not a handout” was thus born, and our successful beginnings allowed people to earn paychecks rather than receive charity.

Our agency is one of 165 regional Goodwill organizations throughout North America. We have been serving Central Iowa communities since 1955. We currently serve 22 Iowa counties and operate 17 retail stores and one outlet store in our territory.

Our mission is to improve the quality of life for all individuals by providing skills training and helping people find jobs.