our mission has been the same since 1983.
We provide opportunities for people with barriers to employment.
Founded in 1983, Goodwill-West Texas is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization consisting of 14 retail stores serving a 35 county area. As an organization, we empower people, helping them fulfill their potential, improve the lives of their families, and contribute to the growth of our shared communities.
Our organization began when Ray King, an Abilene native, partnered with a group of local leaders to establish Goodwill for his son Brian (pictured below as a child in photo 2 and as an adult in photo 4) who had a barrier. Our first location opened up in Abilene off of Pine Street. (pictured below in photos 1) in 1983. Up until Brian's retirement, he was the longest-standing employee at the organization. He still visits us as a volunteer to hang clothes.
In collaboration with a network of other local resource providers, Goodwill-West Texas continually strives to broaden its scope of job training and employment services in alignment with our core mission of providing opportunities for people with barriers to employment.
Goodwill-West Texas is a lot more than a place to donate used household goods and clothing. We are not “just a thrift store.” Goodwill is really about changing lives and fulfilling our mission, that’s why 87 cents of every dollar earned in our stores goes directly to our mission programs that help support our employees and members of the community. By donating your new or gently used items, and shopping in our stores, you are helping to fulfill that mission!
the goodwill story
Goodwill Industries was founded in 1902 by Reverend Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister and early social innovator. Helms collected used household goods and clothing in wealthier areas of Boston, then trained and hired those who were poor to mend and repair the used goods. The goods were either resold or given to the people who repaired them. The system worked, and the Goodwill philosophy of "a hand up, not a hand out" was born.
Every Goodwill organization operates autonomously, meaning they are governed at a local level and provide services to meet the needs of their own unique communities. There are 15 different Goodwill organizations in Texas and a network of 157 community-based, autonomous organizations in the United States and Canada with a presence in 12 other countries.
Goodwill Industries' mission is to enhance people’s dignity and quality of life by strengthening their communities, eliminating their barriers to opportunity, and helping them reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. By donating your new or gently used items, and shopping in our stores, you are helping to fulfill that mission!
While Goodwill-West Texas is affiliated with Goodwill Industries International in name and logo, each Goodwill functions autonomously within its respective community.