October 10 marks the 90th anniversary of Goodwill Industries of the Valleys. Founded in Roanoke on October 10, 1931, Goodwill consisted of a cabinet and shoe shop, store, mission hall, and 32 rooms for the homeless. The first superintendent was Mr. S.L. Thomas, and he oversaw the work of 20 – 30 people operating a paper plant that generated about $10,000 a year. Records, dating back to 1935, list the Roanoke program as one of 89 Goodwills nationwide and the 64th program organized.
Today, Goodwill Industries of the Valleys is one of 156 independent, community-based Goodwill agencies in the United States and Canada. The current organization was created in January 2000 through the merger of four organizations with similar missions – all committed to serving people in need. Goodwill’s service area covers 35 counties and 14 cities Central, Southwest, and Southside Virginia.
“As we look to the future of Goodwill, our vision is to eliminate poverty through empowering individuals, strengthening families, and inspiring communities,” states Richmond Vincent, President & CEO. “Through the work of Goodwill, we want people to have the opportunity to achieve their greatest potential. Times have changed in the 90 years our organization has been serving the Commonwealth of Virginia and so have the needs of our communities. Goodwill will continue to adapt and meet the needs of people who need our assistance. With the support of our communities and team members, we look forward to another 90 years of service.”
Goodwill Industries of the Valleys will continue to build on the legacy of the last 90 years. The organization strives to make a greater, longer lasting impact in our communities while embarking on an exciting new future.