Goodman Community Center | From the Desk of Letesha Nelson

From the Desk of Letesha Nelson

4,312 Thanksgiving Baskets! That's a new record, and we have our incredibly supportive community to thank.

November 30, 2023 |
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A group of UW Madison athletes hold grocery bags and smile at the Goodman Center's Thanksgiving Basket Drive. Two athletes are in turkey costumes.

Dear friends & neighbors,

It's the week after Thanksgiving, and I hope you all were able to spend a little time with family and friends or relax over the last week. This Thanksgiving was one for the books at the Goodman Center.

Goodman Center Thanksgiving Basket Drive 2023

We registered more families than ever for our Thanksgiving Basket program. When all was said and done, we ended up providing 4,312 Dane County families with Thanksgiving groceries! That is unbelievable!

As you would expect with an effort this immense, the event wasn't without its hiccups, and this year we ran into a huge challenge. Monday afternoon, we realized we were going to run out of baskets. My pantry director, Francesca, came to me as calm as she always is and delivered the news. My stomach sank. But Francesca had a plan. We created IOU's for the families who were in line and set to work figuring out where we were going to get the extra food we needed to ensure everyone who came to pick up a Basket would get one by Tuesday.

Before Monday was done, our friends at the River Food Pantry and WayForward Resources stepped up to help. The River provided more than 300 boxes of stuffing and WayForward gave us nearly 300 turkeys! That evening, we purchased remaining food to fill the gaps for those who were coming back on Tuesday.

This event is an enormous undertaking, and thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations have chipped in year after year – for the last 35 years – to help us pull it off. This year, perhaps even more than any other year, we saw our neighbors pull together to do something incredible. That's community in action, and it's inspiring to witness.

As we ease into the end of the year, I wish you all peace and joy as you take care of yourselves and those you love.

With gratitude,

Letesha Nelson, CEO & Executive Director

What's Good at Goodman

This letter was sent with our email newsletter, filled with the latest news about what's happening at the Goodman Community Center.

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