Goodman Community Center: Thousands of Madison families and children can’t celebrate Thanksgiving this year

Contact: Kathy Utley, Thanksgiving Basket Coordinator
Goodman Community Center
Madison, WI 53704
608-241-1574 x249
[email protected]


Becky Steinhoff
Goodman Community Center
608-241-1574 x 225
608-212-1471 cell
[email protected]

Our community is incredible, but there is unprecedented need. The Goodman Community Center is hoping to meet the growing demand for food this Thanksgiving. The Center has over 2,240 families registered for Thanksgiving baskets, – this totals almost 5,000 children. The Center’s Thanksgiving Basket Kick-Off event will be held on Thursday, November 1st from 4pm to 5pm.

Madison, WI – The Goodman Community Center is hoping to provide Thanksgiving baskets to an unprecedented number of children and families this year. An incredible 2,240 families (representing close to 10,000 individuals and 4,770 children) registered to receive baskets this season. The Center is working hard to meet this growing need, but it is a tall order.

“Children and families are the number one priority for the Goodman Community Center’s annual Thanksgiving basket program. We hope that if we make a strong push to engage the entire community, we will be able to bring Thanksgiving into the homes of these families,” says Becky Steinhoff, Executive Director of the Center.

The following three students have been selected as the honorary chair of the Thanksgiving Basket program this year and when you hear their stories, you will understand why. They will be available for photos and interviews at the kick-off event on November 1st from 4pm to 5pm.

Middle schoolers Tamar Rubin, Olive Lembergerand, and Corey Jacob have made it their mission to help us bring Thanksgiving into the homes of Madison area residents. Tamar Rubin, a 12 year old student at O’Keeffe Middle School, is a Goodman Community Center FOODworks volunteer who organizes monthly food drives for our food pantry. She recently organized a walk/run that started at her school’s playground and ended at the Goodman Community Center. Her efforts brought in $800 and fresh fruits to support the Thanksgiving Basket program and the Food Pantry at Goodman.

Corey, a sixth grader, has been organizing and volunteering for Thanksgiving with his father, Michael, at the Goodman Community Center for nine years. Corey and Michael have helped pack and organize bags and now both have it down to a science. When I asked Corey why he continues to help organize this event every year he said, “I like when I think of all the people over all these years that I have helped. It is fun to help others.”

Eighth-grader Olive Lemberger has been organizing an annual food drive for the Fritz Food Pantry for the last nine years of her life. She first began raising cash donations at age 4 by selling cookies, cupcakes and lemonade. Over the years she has raised close to $5,000 to bring food to families in Madison.

“We commend the efforts of Corey, Olive, and Tamar and hope that others in the community will step up to help” – says Steinhoff. Those interested in donating food or money can call 241.1574 x249, or x 225 stop by the center during business hours. Monetary donations can also be made online at

Distribution of baskets will begin on Saturday, November 17th for the first 1,000. Those on the wait list will be notified between the 11/18 and 11/20 whether or not the center can accommodate their request. Please help Olive, Corey and Tamara in their goal of serving everyone on the list.

The Goodman Community Center is one of the busier neighborhood centers in Madison. The Center offers many programs to strengthen the lives of preschoolers through teens, meals and social activities for older adults, a food pantry, a gym and fitness center, café and catering and community space. For more information about the Center, visit http://www.goodmancenter