Celebrating 75 Years of Goodwill - Goodwill Industries of New Jersey and Philadelphia

The year was 1948 when…

  • NASCAR held its first race in Daytona Beach.
  • Truman was President of the United States.
  • The game, Scrabble, was introduced.
  • A Coca-Cola bottle cost five cents.
  • The Philadelphia Eagles won the NFL Championship.

And Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey opened its doors for the very first time!

This year mark’s Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia’s 75th anniversary.  Founded in Camden, NJ in October of 1948, Goodwill has grown into one the region’s largest nonprofit organizations.  Its entrepreneurial model and mission have stayed firmly intact through the years.  Long before the words “recycling,” “sustainability,” and “going green” became buzz words, Goodwill was collecting gently-used unwanted items; selling them in its thrift stores; and using the sales revenues to help individuals with disabilities and disadvantages get to work. 

A trainee fulfills the requirements for Automated Office Skills Training in 1992 vs. Students graduating from Goodwill's Helms Academy at Ocean County College in 2019.

Over the last 75 years,

Goodwill has helped many thousands of area residents achieve their goals through meaningful work leading to enhanced independence and dignity.  In the words of its founding father, Edgar J. Helms, Goodwill believes in a “hand up not a hand out.”  We provide job training and career services that help individuals faced with disabilities and disadvantages gain marketable skills to secure competitive jobs.  Our programs have evolved over the years to meet the specific demands of the local workforce. 

On the donation side of our business,

Goodwill is a major contributor to the region’s sustainability efforts.  On average, Goodwill collects 100 million pounds of textiles each year plus many more millions of pounds of electronics, household items, toys, furniture and other items. 

As we enter our 75th year,

thrifting is trendier than ever before! Thrifting lets shoppers curate a new style at a significantly lower cost.  For even greater value, Goodwill offers 50% off its Colors of the Week and Dollar Day Sundays.  Shoppers interested in being eco-friendly also reap sustainability benefits by shopping in Goodwill’s thrift stores. Beyond these things, shopping Goodwill is an adventure…you just never know what’s in store.

We’re proud of how far we’ve come but even more excited about where we are heading in shaping even more lives.  We’ve made it to this juncture because of YOU—we thank you for your support.