The first Goodwill began in Boston in 1902. Then, Goodwill founder, Dr. Edgar J. Helms, in an attempt to meet the needs of families in his neighborhood, took a burlap coffee bag and went to his friends in other parts of Boston, returning with bags full of discards from their closets. The plan of repairing these garments and selling them for money to pay wages to the workers quickly developed into Goodwill.
Goodwill Industries of East Texas started because a group of individuals saw the opportunity to change East Texans lives for the better.
A Vision for East Texas Becomes A Reality
Since 1969, Goodwill Industries of East Texas has training, employing and helping East Texans find WORK!
- 1969 Goodwill Industries of East Texas begins as a branch of Goodwill Industries of Dallas, TX. First store and training center is located at 423 Locust Street in Downtown Tyler.
- 1975 Goodwill Industries of East Texas Incorporates as an independent Goodwill agency and is granted 501 (c) 3 Status. Opens 5th location, this time in Longview, Texas.
- 1978 Goodwill Cafeteria opens July 7, 1978 serving Disabled workers and staff @ $0.80 per meal.
- 1981 Second Goodwill opens in Longview at 1419 Green Street in February 1981.
- 1985 Ten Year Anniversary! 9 Stores, 2 Workshops. Two new locations Palestine and Kilgore slated to open. Goodwill cafeteria, now funded by United Way serves adds a breakfast to menu/schedule.
- 1988 Goodwill Lufkin/Nacogdoches become autonomous. Goodwill Industries of East Texas is the smallest Goodwilll in the world to have founded other Goodwills (Lufkin and Longview)
- 1997 Goodwill Industries of East Texas merges with “Opportunities In Tyler” (OIT).
- 2003 Tyler South “SUPER STORE” opens in former Payless Cashway site on 1817 WSW Loop 323.
- 2009 Goodwill Industries of East Texas merges with Goodwill of the Pines, headquartered in Longview, and creates a broader East Texas Region adding four additional counties.
- Kimberly B. Lewis, President and CEO joins Goodwill Industries of East Texas as the fifth Executive Director. A long range strategic plan is developed to provide a path for growth steeped in mission services, financial strength and talent acquisition to best meet the needs of East Texans.