Goodwill Celebrates 75 Years of Service

Added by on October 21st, 2008 @ 4:00 am

Grandson of Goodwill Founder Delivers Keynote Address
at 75th Anniversary Celebration

Portland, MEGoodwill Industries celebrated 75 of service in a 1930s-themed annual meeting on Thursday, October 9. The meeting featured an historic slideshow, exhibits of 1930s local and national history, and a keynote address by Ned Helms, Goodwill board member and grandson of the original founder of Goodwill Industries, Dr. Edgar J. Helms. The event took place at the Wyndham Hotel in South Portland. Goodwill recognized service recipients for their achievements and community members for their commitment to Goodwill’s mission. The event was covered by the Portland Press Herald and WGME-Channel 13.

Originally established as Portland Goodwill Industries in 1933, Goodwill Industries of Northern New England now operates retail stores and human services programs in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Portland Goodwill was founded in the midst of the Great Depression. The agency’s mission, “Not charity, but a chance,” was achieved by helping individuals find good jobs to gain independence. Based on Middle Street in the 1930s, Goodwill served 85 clients and purchased its first truck for $145. 75 years later, Goodwill continues the mission of assisting people achieve social and economic independence. Executive Director, Michael Coughlin, noted, “Seventy-five years is not a great deal of time in the history of our planet, but it is a very long time for a non-profit organization to be serving a region.” In 2007, Goodwill served 5,067 clients in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Sales and donations at our 25 retail stores help to fund our human services programs.

Keynote speaker, Ned Helms, MA, serves as Director of the New Hampshire Institute for Health Policy and Practice. Mr. Helms provides intellectual and administrative leadership for the Institute by overseeing the continued growth and direction of the Institute, investigating and pursuing the development of research and demonstration projects, and facilitating collaborative linkages with health policy organizations throughout New Hampshire. Mr. Helms has served as a Goodwill board member since 2003.

Details of Goodwill’s history is available on our website, including an online exhibit of Goodwill’s beginnings in the 1930s.

Ken Christian
Senior Director, Communications
Goodwill Administrative Office

About Goodwill Industries of Northern New England

Goodwill Industries of Northern New England has a 10-year goal of being instrumental in moving 10,000 households out of poverty and into stability in our territory of Maine, New Hampshire and northern Vermont.

We not only create training opportunities and jobs within Goodwill, our Workforce Services helps local businesses build their own workforce. As an employer of more than 2,000 people and a social service provider, we have a unique perspective that can help other employers find and keep reliable employees.

Goodwill Neurorehabilitation Services in Portland, Maine and Lewiston, Maine offers comprehensive brain injury services and treatment options for people with acquired brain injuries. At Goodwill Neurorehabilitation Services, comprehensive, community-based therapies are provided to assist individuals with cognitive, emotional and physical needs – so lives can get back on track after a brain injury.

Recycled Cycles, a Goodwill NNE service in New Hampshire, is a partnership with the Central New Hampshire Bicycling Coalition to create job training opportunities repairing and maintaining bicycles. Program participants also benefit through individualized training and mentoring. Recycled Cycles is focused on increasing community awareness about the health, environmental and cost benefits to transportational cycling.

Goodwill Industries of Northern New England operates 23 residential homes across Maine for people with diverse challenges – acquired brain injury, intellectual disability or other barrier to independence that requires continuous support from Goodwill staff.

Our services are funded by revenue from retail and recycling operations, grants, fees, and philanthropic gifts.  Please visit for more information.

Updated 1 year ago by Kimberly Curry