History

Goodwill was founded in 1902 in Boston, by Rev. Edgar Helms of Boston. Wanting to offer a “hand up, not a handout,” he collected used goods and clothing. He hired and trained those in need to mend and repair them. He then sold the items to help fund the operation.

Today, Goodwill Industries International is a $5.59 billion nonprofit, a secular organization with 163 independent chapters.

A hand up in western and northern Connecticut

1950
Rev. Joseph Pouliot organizes what will become Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut at the Christian Union on Main Street in Bridgeport.

1961
Goodwill opens a store in Milford when a building on New Haven Avenue is donated to the agency.

1969
Goodwill moves to our present Bridgeport headquarters on Ocean Terrace.

1971
With the organization growing, a residential facility is added, including a kitchen, a cafeteria, and a recreational room.

1981
A new donation center opens in Waterbury.

1991
Goodwill creates Helms Housing, 12 units of affordable housing on its Bridgeport campus.

2000
Goodwill becomes a qualified provider for the Medicaid acquired brain injury program.

2003
Goodwill acquires new retail territory gaining the right to develop and operate stores and donation centers in the greater Hartford area.

2008
Goodwill launches a program for individuals on the autism spectrum.

2009
Goodwill expands its human services territory to include the entire northern area of Connecticut.

2010
Goodwill Career Centers open in four locations to provide assistance to people looking for work.

2012
New Goodwill store in Westport opens, carrying new “GW” branding.
Goodwill opens modern new campuses in Greenwich and Hartford.

2013
Goodwill launches Beyond Jobs, a program funded by the Walmart Foundation, to help women succeed in the workplace and support their families.
Vickie Volpano joined the organization as President. 


2014
Goodwill opens a new store and donation station in Avon, CT.
David H. Turner retires from Goodwill after serving nearly 20 years as CEO & President.

2015
Goodwill moves and opens a brand new store and donation station in New Milford, CT providing a larger sales floor and a drive-thru donation area.

2016
The retail division completes unprecedented growth by opening three new market stores in Enfield, Bloomfield, and Oxford. Also, three older model stores were replaced with larger and more modern locations in Waterbury, Monroe, and Glastonbury. This included new Goodwill Career Center outposts in both the Enfield and Monroe locations.

2017
Goodwill continues its growth with new stores planned for Stamford, Shelton and Fairfield.