The Rev. Wilkie Clock wrote a report of the Christian outreach and the living conditions in West Tulsa for the 1921 Methodist Conference.
Conditions included dirt floors, inoperable toilets, sickness, dilapidated houses, and crowded conditions.
Six years later he incorporated Goodwill Industries of Tulsa in the basement of the WestTulsaMethodistChurch.
Goodwill, celebrating 75 years in 2002, has a broad range of programs, but the premise remains the same. “People with barriers to employment need the skills and opportunity to help themselves.”
According to Goodwill’s Historical Timeline, “Goodwill Industry International chartered the Tulsa Goodwill to serve 12 counties in northeast Oklahoma. The focus was to feed and clothe the needy.
In the 1930s, volunteers constructed a three-story building out of donated brick next door to the church where Goodwill of Tulsa started.
They use the slogan “not charity, but a chance.”
After the death of Rev. Clock, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa agrees to operate as a subsidiary of the St. Louis Goodwill for five years.
Then in 1941, Tex Rickard is hired as Executive Director and Goodwill industries of Tulsa is reborn as an independent Goodwill organization.
Later with many handicapped World War II veterans, Goodwill becomes known for providing jobs and job training for people with disabilities.
Goodwill buys the old Brady Hotel and spends several years renovating the eight floors.
The location is Goodwill’s headquarters from 1944-71.
In 1946, Rev. L.D. Burris becomes Executive Director serving until 1961.
In the 1950s, Milton Caniff draws the cartoon Good Willy that becomes a well-known symbol of Goodwill’s efforts.
In 1954, Mrs. William Neff organizes the first Goodwill Auxiliary with 246 members who set about raising funds to support the programs.
Four years later, Norman Rockwell donated his painting “The Paycheck” to Pittsfield, Mass. Goodwill.
In the 1960s, Boston designer Joseph Selame created the Goodwill logo, the smiling G.
Community groups collected clothing that is sorted by workers to sell in Goodwill stores.
Goodwill expands to several other cities including Bartlesville and Claremore.
In 1971, Goodwill Industries of Tulsa buys the former Stockton’s DiscountCenter building at 2800 Southwest Boulevard and relocated the headquarters there.
Goodwill contracts with state government and private industry to provide jobs for individuals.
From custodial services to assembly and packaging, Goodwill puts people to work.
In 1980, Goodwill ends a $1 million capital fund drive to renovate the new building.
In 1988, the Goodwill territory gained Newton and Jasper counties in Missouri. A donation site and store opened in Joplin.
In 1992, Goodwill completes a $1.85 million drive to renovate and expand the headquarters.
Four years later as the U.S. tries to move welfare recipients into the workforce, Goodwill adds training for disadvantaged clients.
In 1999, Goodwill gains 13 counties in southeast Oklahoma.
In 2000, Goodwill picks up the vocational training center from Children’s MedicalCenter and forms the East Campus at 10101 East Admiral Place.
The facility has 11,000 square feet in which in-house contract work is handled.
In 2001, Goodwill opened a facility in McAlester with a store, donation drive-thru and classroom.
A $3.5 million capital fund drive is bringing a 40,000 square foot addition to the Southwest Boulevard headquarters in 2002. The new area will have offices and classrooms and permit more space for growth in the donated goods.