March 2024 // A Community Newsletter

Dear friends and neighbors,

March is Women's History Month. It's also the month we take a minute to honor the young girls and nonbinary youth in our community who are shaping their own present and future every day.

Earlier this month, we shared the story about a group of Girls Inc. youth at East High who are leading the charge to provide period products to everyone who needs them at the school. They're tackling a taboo topic and bringing it out into the open, and it's so inspiring.

As Jade Koenigs, Girls Inc. manager, explained: "Our young people aren't pessimistic about the world. They see the problems that exist but they don't get stuck on 'this sucks.' Instead, they say, 'Okay. These problems exist. Let's fix them.'"

That's what these young people did. They saw a problem, and rather than wallow, they got to work. How? Thanks to support from adult leaders in Girls Inc., like Jade and her team.

Girls Inc. helps young people find the strength already inside them, and then gives them the tools they need to advocate for themselves and their community.

Just read the way these kids talk about Girls Inc.:

"Often times goals (especially community-action-oriented goals) feel unattainable as a minor and as a girl. However, the support Girls Inc. as an organization, resource and community has given me, has enabled me and my peers to pursue those goals." Kalea, age 16

"Girls Inc. has helped me grow so much as a leader." Ellie, age 17 

"What makes Girls Inc. special is that it is what you make of it. If you want a space to just chill, you can have that; if you want a space to make change — like the period project drive — you have a space to do that; and if you want to build a good community, it's the space to be." Elena, age 17

If you read those and feel a bloom of hope inside you, as I do, please make a gift to Girls Inc. Any amount will help young girls and nonbinary youth in our community see how Strong, Smart and Bold they can be. 


Letesha Nelson 

President & Executive Director

P.S. A generous couple is matching gifts, up to $10,000 through the end of March. Make your gift today and double your impact!

Give to Girls Inc. Today


TONIGHT! The Right to Read Screening

Across the country, kids need more support in reading. Reading is an essential skill in this information age, and right here in our own community nearly 60% of Madison students score below proficiency levels in their ability to read, write and comprehend text. The statistics are staggering, but there is hope.

Join us for a pizza dinner as we screen the documentary The Right to Read. After the film, we'll talk about what can be done right here in Madison to make sure our youth are getting the literacy help they need to succeed later in life. We'll also introduce Goodman's new START Literacy Initiative.

Thursday, March 21

Doors and dinner, 5:15pm

Screening and discussion, 5:30-7:30pm

Goodman Community Center

Ironworks building

149 Waubesa St.

The event is free and open to the public. Dinner provided by Ian's Pizza.

RSVP here so we can ensure we have enough food.

Retirement Workshop

Retirement: It's an exciting, scary and often confusing time. Financial, social and health changes are everywhere, but we're not always given the tools to come face-to-face with them. This four-week workshop hopes to help you build those tools.

Tuesdays, April 9-30


Goodman Community Center Ironworks building

Registration fee: $15

To regsiter, contact Gayle Laszewski, Assistant Director of Older Adult Programs, at or 608-204-8032. 

Presented in partnership with NewBridge.


Eureka! Summer Camp Now Enrolling

The incredible crew behind Girls Inc. of Greater Madison is hosting an exciting two-week summer camp for rising 8th and 9th graders who identify as girls and nonbinary. Over the course of the camp, Eureka! youth will explore STEM, take swim lessons, try out new sports and do some job shadowing with local businesses and organizations. This is a great opportunity for youth who are interested in STEM and excited to build friendships with Girls Inc. members across Madison!

Apply online here by April 30.

Space is limited so apply today!

Eureka! is a five-year summer and school-year program for girls and nonbinary youth interested in STEM fields. Because this is a pilot program this summer, participants do not have to make a commitment to the five-year program. 

FYI Spring Sports Camps

Spring has sprung, and that means new Goodman Spring Sports Camps. Over the course of eight weeks, your child will have the opportunity to sharpen skills, learn to work as a team and make new friends by participating in basketball, spring sports or volleyball.

  • Each camp runs for 45 minutes.
  • Camps are designed with beginners and intermediate players in mind.
  • All camps are held in the Goodman Center gym (149 Waubesa St.).
  • Camps are limited to 20 participants each.
  • Camps are $60 each. Scholarships are available.

Learn more and register your child today!

Youth Job Fair

The LOFT high school team, led by Career Readiness Coordinator Morgan, pulled together a great opportunity for our high school youth earlier this month. They invited a group of local businesses and organizations to set up booths and answer questions for youth as they explored career paths and job opportunities in the area. The event was also a great opportunity for youth to practice their networking skills and meet professionals working in fields that interest them.

Great work, LOFT team and thank you to the businesses and organizations who came to the fair: Old National Bank, Anaala Salon and Spa, Camp Shalom, Cousins Subs, Roundy's, EUA, Ian's Pizza, RCC Sexual Violence Resource Center and LabCorp. 

Looking for even more good Goodman news?

Follow us on Facebook and Instagram.


Come work with us!

Make an impact on your community while feeling great about the work you do. The Goodman Center has some of the best benefits in town – no joke. In addition to an in-house minimum wage of $20 per hour and an incredible health care plan (better than what some much bigger businesses in town offer, we've been told by our staff), Goodman offers retirement matching, more than five weeks of paid time off in your first year, free child care for kids in preschool and attending Lowell or Emerson elementary schools, and more.

Check out our current open positions and apply today:

Click the link above to apply today!

Photo by SV Heart Photography 


Somewhere in Time

The 1920s and '30s were a period of growth for the east side of Madison and Marshall Browne's East Side News mirrored that growth. Browsing through early editions, it's easy to think Madison only existed on the east side. With the exception of a few ads for stores and businesses on State Street, there's hardly a mention of downtown or the west side. East Madison was already a bustling community in itself and still growing.

Read more about what today's Eastside News editor, Dave Link, discovered as he was perusing a few of those old issues. 

P.S. Anyone reading this remember Atwood's Alive, the neighborhood's newsletter from the '70s? If you have a copy, we'd love to scan it as we celebrate local news this year. Please reach out to Dave Link at or 608-817-3133. 


Retail (to the) Rescue

Did you know a member of our staff visits a number of businesses in our community most days of the week to "rescue" food those businesses would otherwise throw away? These are great products that still have life in them, and they go a long way in helping to keep our pantry shelves stocked. Things like produce, bakery sweets (cakes, pastries, pies – oh my!), prepared foods and more.

Pantry Assistant Director Francesca Frisque did the math and figured out about 25% of the food our pantry provides to customers each week comes from these retail rescues.

In addition to national chains like Whole Foods, HyVee, Walmart, Panera and Starbucks, local businesses also provide food. We're thankful for Reverie Baking, Madison Sourdough, Origin Breads, Stalzy's, Willy Street Co-op East and many others for helping us keep our shelves stocked with delicious treats! 


Free Mending Services

Have you heard of the Goodman Menders? It's a group of volunteers who set up shop outside of Goodman's food pantry multiple times a month and offer their sewing skills free of charge. Need a button sewn on or some pants hemmed? These folks have you covered. (They don't replace zippers.)

Open to all, even if you're not visiting the pantry.


  • 1st Wednesday of the month: 5:30-7:30pm
  • 2nd Tuesday of the month: 9-11:30am 
  • 3rd Wednesday of the month: 5:30-7:30pm
  • 4th Tuesday of the month: 9-11:30am 


Fritz Food Pantry

Our food pantry is open three days a week to anyone who needs it.


  • Tuesday 9am to noon, drive-thru 1-2pm 
  • Wednesday 5:30-8pm  
  • Thursday 12-3pm

Interested in helping our food pantry serve our community? Check out our list of most-needed items.

Questions? Contact Francesca at or 608-204-8049.

Rapid Pantry

Our food pantry is excited to offer a service created to make it possible to serve as many people as possible. Customers now have the option to receive a bag of prepacked dry goods, as well as a personal selection of meat, dairy and other perishable choices like bread and bakery items rather than shopping the pantry as usual.

Rapid pantry is available:

Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30am

Thursdays, 12:30-1:30pm

As food insecurity remains high in Madison, our pantry remains dedicated to getting good food in the hands of our community members who need it.

Photo by SV Heart Photography 

Thank you for all you do to support your community! We're all stronger when everyone has the resources they need to be successful ❤️

Make a Gift to Goodman
214 Waubesa Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53704
Read the Eastside News, our bimonthy, uber-local newspaper.
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram