Dr. Edgar J. Helms
Dr. Edgar J, Helms

Harold Thorin

Harold Thorin

Dr. Edgar J. Helms, a Methodist minister, founded the international Goodwill Industries movement in 1902. As a settlement worker in Boston's South End among the area's immigrants, Dr. Helms looked for a way to help them get back on their feet. He gave them the opportunity to be generous in a new way -- not only through their wallets, but also through their closets.

Goodwill Industries of Lane and South Coast Counties has a rich, 50-plus year history of serving Lane and South Coast Counties residents. Begun in 1954 as a joint venture between the Eugene Rotary and the Eugene Women's League, Goodwill opened its first retail store in 1958, and was incorporated in 1968.


Led by Harold Thorin until 1981, Goodwill opened its first retail store in 1958. The store was located at 32 East 11th Street in Eugene, and additional stores followed. Expansion continued to the Oregon coast with the grand opening of our North Bend Store in 2004, followed by the Florence Store opening in 2009 and our Brookings store in 2014. We also opened the first Goodwill store in Anchorage, Alaska in 2016.

In 2018, Goodwill employed over 450 individuals and provided services to almost 6,600 individuals. With 10 retail training centers in Lane, Coos and Curry counties and two in Anchorage, Alaska, Goodwill continues to lead the way in providing vocational opportunities for individuals with barriers to employment. 

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