Madison congregation touts longtime ties to community center


Members of Plymouth UCC (Madison) meet with Goodman Community Center CEO Letesha Nelson (on far left), and visit the Center’s preschool classrooms to see examples of the impact their support is having on the Goodman community.

Plymouth Congregational UCC in Madison has had a relationship with Goodman Community Center since the center’s founding in 1954.  Goodman CEO and Executive Director Letesha Nelson will speak at Plymouth during worship on April 16, with a reception to follow. All are welcome.

Could your congregation expand its ministry by collaborating with a community center? Plymouth is glad to be a resource. Contact Laura Stalder at to learn more.

Here, members of Plymouth Congregational in Madison share some of the results of their church’s work with Goodman Community Center.

  • We were next door neighbors with the Atwood (now Goodman) Community Center for many years and we helped each other out in multiple ways.
  • Starting in the early 1960s, the Atwood Center hosted free, weekly community dinners at Plymouth. Due to inadequate kitchen/dining facilities, Atwood prepared and served these meals at Plymouth, with the help of many of our church members.
  • When Plymouth experienced a major fire in 1968, the Atwood Center let Plymouth use space in their building to hold our Sunday School classes.
  • Numerous Atwood Center meetings were held at Plymouth before their move to their current and much larger facilities.
  • A former Plymouth pastor did numerous handyman jobs for the Atwood Center.
  • Plymouth has regularly collected food for the Goodman Center over the years, including substantial, annual financial donations to the Thanksgiving baskets for low-income people program. Plymouth members also volunteer their time with this program.
  • Several of Plymouth’s quarterly “Jane’s Pocket” special fundraisers have been for the benefit of the Goodman Center.
  • Plymouth makes treat bags for kids well in excess of the number needed for our annual Halloween Party for UNICEF. Between 200 and 300 individually decorated bags have been donated to the Goodman Center over the past three years.
  • Plymouth members volunteer at the Goodman Center by working senior meals, packing weekly groceries for children in their childcare program, assisting in the food pantry, and helping with family fun night, the senior gala, and other special events.
  • Plymouth’s Discipleship Team is in the third year of a three-year project to more formally support the Goodman Center. $10,000 of the funding for this project ($16,000 total) came from a grant Plymouth received from a funding source that Goodman wasn’t eligible for (that resulted from Plymouth’s previous participation in the Ecumenical Housing Project), with the additional $6,000 donated by Plymouth.  The primary focus of this project is to provide support for Goodman’s Social Emotional Learning Program (SEL).  This funding enabled all classroom teachers to receive specialized SEL training, as well as purchase materials and tools that the children could use to help them manage their emotions.
  • A Girl Scout troop headed by a Plymouth member made child-sized picnic benches for the Goodman Center.
  • All proceeds from Plymouth’s 2022 rummage sale were donated to the Goodman Center. Many shoppers paid more than the asking price for the things they were buying because they knew that their money was going to the Goodman Center.  Goodman received $3,500 as a result.
  • Plymouth collected more than 500 pounds of clean, soft plastics (which are normally not recyclable) within the past year for a company that makes them into outdoor furniture. We would never have met our goal without help from the Goodman Center, which started saving plastic for us.  Plymouth received an outdoor bench for these efforts.  We are now collecting another 500 pounds and will donate the next bench to the Goodman Center.

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