10 Decades in 10 Months of Evergreen Goodwill:1930s

April 13, 2023

Posted in: Vintage, Community, and Job Training & Education

The decade most widely known nationwide for marking the beginning of the Great Depression started off on a positive note for Evergreen Goodwill, before transforming into a critical lifeline for thousands of workers in need of employment, housing and food.

On April 7, 1930, Evergreen Goodwill announced the site of its new headquarters – located at the intersection of Dearborn and Lane Streets. You may recognize this intersection because it’s the current site of Evergreen Goodwill’s Administration Building and flagship Dearborn store location, which continues to be the largest Goodwill nonprofit thrift store in the world.

At the time, the plot of land – once the site of an old hotel – was transformed into a $100,000 manufacturing plant that featured classrooms for industrial training and educational programs, housing for people experiencing homelessness, a 70,000-square-foot store, a nursery for mothers working in the factory, a lunchroom for employees to come together, and a chapel for worship.

As the effects of the stock market crash of 1929 reached Seattle, area workers lost their jobs and Evergreen Goodwill made calls for additional support from the public to help. In December of 1930, Evergreen Goodwill served over 9,200 meals to individuals in need at its new plant on Lane Street, and over 2,500 beds were provided to people in the community.

May 23, 1933 marked the organization’s 10-year anniversary, and a number of celebrations were held over the course of three days including a public dinner, entertainment and facility tours. In its first 10 years, Evergreen Goodwill paid workers a total of $970,000+ and assisted 66,596 people.

View more information about Evergreen Goodwill's 100-year history.

← Previous Next →
Connect With Us
Interested in receiving news from Goodwill? Sign up now!