Helping People Help Themselves

Audio / Produced by The High Calling


In 1902, a Boston Methodist minister named Edgar J. Helms had an idea. First he gathered castoff goods and clothing from wealthy neighborhoods. Then he hired and trained the poor to repair the goods. The restored merchandise was given to the person who restored it—or resold. And thus began Goodwill Industries.

Bob Dugas is president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of San Antonio. Like his mission's founder, Bob "helps change lives through the power of work." In 2006, local Goodwill groups collectively employed and trained more than 900,000 people.

This is Howard Butt, Jr., of Laity Lodge. Edgar Helms' philosophy, of helping people while they helped themselves, hinged on work's very power to change lives—in the high calling of our daily work.

Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him — for this is his lot. (Eccl. 5:18)