Breaking Down Barriers to Opportunity: Goodwill’s Heritage, Mission, and Values

At Ohio Valley Goodwill, we believe in a future where equal opportunities are available for all. We’re driven by our mission to enhance the dignity and quality of life of individuals and families by strengthening communities, eliminating barriers to opportunity, and helping people in need reach their full potential through learning and the power of work. Every day, our mission is carried out by providing training, employment and supportive services for individuals with disabilities or disadvantages.

Edgar Helms, Goodwill founder

Goodwill’s mission was first envisioned by founder Rev. Edgar J. Helms more than 100 years ago. Helms dreamt of making a lasting difference in the lives of people with disabilities and disadvantages in his hometown of Boston, Massachusetts. He wanted to give people with more than just a temporary handout, but a sustainable path to a life of dignity, confidence, and self-sufficiency.

Helms developed a unique system of collecting donated clothing and household goods and reselling them to benefit people in need that eventually led to the formation of a network of Goodwills across the country. Today, Goodwill is still dedicated to empowering individuals with disabilities and disadvantages to reach their full potential and achieve their career goals.

Since 1916, Ohio Valley Goodwill has been breaking down barriers to opportunity by providing skill training, employment services, and support programs designed to help individuals obtain meaningful employment. We offer career assessments, real work experience, and support the development of job seeking skills and soft skills. In the past year alone, Ohio Valley Goodwill provided more than 3,400 individuals with skill training, career development, job placement and life enrichment opportunities.

But Goodwill is only able to continue our tradition of serving people in need with your help. Every donation made to Goodwill and item purchased from one of our stores goes on to help support our programs and services for thousands of people in the Greater Cincinnati community.

We’re thankful for the generosity and support of those who donate to Ohio Valley Goodwill and shop in our stores, as well as our partners and employers. Together, we can build communities that work! Learn more about Ohio Valley Goodwill’s mission, vision, and values.

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