Minister Edgar J. Helms founded Goodwill at the turn of the 20th century to support the unemployed immigrant population of Boston. He gathered unwanted household items and hired the immigrants to refurbish them for resale. Over time, the operation grew into a comprehensive job-skills training and placement program.
In the past 90 years, Goodwill Industries has played an integral role in communities nationwide by placing nearly 90,000 individuals into jobs. Each purchase helps fund programs that help people with barriers to employment find work, and the stores themselves serve as a training site for participants to gain work experience.
In 2008, Dreamspun was launched by a mother who used to go to great lengths to track down clothing that satisfied her young daughter's specific tastes for fashion. She opened the girls' boutique to make it easier for parents to find stylish, ruffled clothing fit for a princess. Dreamspun's seasonal line dresses the littlest of ladies in a variety of chic garments and accessories including fluffy pettiskirts, tiered rompers, and tutu tights available in a rainbow of colors. The shop also shows firm support for American manufacturing; all of its garments are crafted in the USA.
Susan Molnar’s world is made of glass. As the owner of Glass House Designs, she oversees the facility’s three divisions: the gallery, the classroom, and the artist’s studio. In the gallery, Susan showcases her work alongside the pieces of more than 50 other local, regional, and national artists. For visitors hoping to create glass masterpieces of their own, Susan offers classes in fusing, mosaics, lampworking, and stained glass, and guest instructors offer classes in other artistic disciplines.
For more than 25 years, Altogas has supplied homes and backyard barbecues with tanks of clean-burning, eco-friendly propane gas. After depleting their existing reservoirs, customers roll the empty cylinders to Altogas headquarters, where technicians safely replenish them with new, fresh supplies. Returning home full and ready to burn, each tank can resume fueling a standard barbecue grill, turkey deep fryer, or two-fifths of an animatronic bear band.
Pioneered nearly 30 years ago by a Michigan farming family, Heffron Farms Markets dish up a bounty of naturally raised meats, organic dairy, and other wholesome edibles. Apple sausage links ($3.97 for 10) amplify morning protein levels in preparation for chicken-wing-ding ($2.75 for 16 oz.) lunches and thick-cut New York strip steak ($11.89 for 11 oz.) dinners. Toothsome dairy products such as eggs and Amish cheeses supply nutritive variety, and rainbows of individually quick-frozen fruits and vegetables fill in troublesome voids in food-pyramid ice sculptures. Pet owners can also stock up on eats for four-legged friends with ground chicken and bone dinners ($1.99), turkey gizzards ($2.69 for 16 oz.), and other chop-licking unmentionables. All prices may vary by location.