Our Story

Five years ago, Kristina Lowenstein and Catherine Tannen shared a wish to do more community service with their families. Before having kids, they both actively volunteered, but now it wasn’t so easy – their lives were hectic. Kristina and Catherine wanted to connect their kids to the issues families in Chicago face every day, like hunger and pollution, but struggled to find meaningful volunteer projects that welcomed people of all ages.

In 2011, they launched The Honeycomb Project, with the mission to engage, mobilize and inspire kids and their families to strengthen Chicago’s communities through public service - while learning first-hand about important social issues.


What We Do


Honeycomb works in partnership with more than 45 organizations to develop the very best volunteer experiences for families. We create projects that bring together people of different ages, backgrounds and abilities to develop a deeper understanding of local issues, share their skills and work toward a common goal. 


Mobilizing volunteers of all ages has it’s challenges – we get it.  Honeycomb brings the tools, staff, educational resources and expertise needed to make family engagement easy and impactful for our nonprofits partners.


We have a hive full of sweet ideas, resources and projects to help kids be active, informed and engaged citizens for the long-term. Honeycomb volunteers are going out into their neighborhoods, sharing the joy of giving and making the world a better place. Read our stories and see for yourself. 

Community Impact

Last year, more than 1,800 volunteers shared their time and talents with Honeycomb – that’s 6,500 volunteers since our founding in 2011.  Families from more than 88 Chicagoland communities have volunteered with us, and 82% of Honeycomb families live in low-to-moderate income communitiesOur projects help at-risk, homeless, and low-income individuals and families, and improve natural and recreational areas in under-served and impoverished neighborhoods. Read our 2015 Year End Report.

  • povertyhungerHunger and Poverty
  • homelessnessHomelessness
  • environmentEnvironment
  • educationEducation
  • communityCommunity
  • healthHealth and Wellness

Why Family Volunteering Matters

If you’ve ever done a project with Honeycomb, you have seen first-hand that family volunteering has a positive impact. We can back up your observations with science. Research shows that volunteering as a family:

  • Provides quality time to spend together
  • Teaches greater tolerance and understanding
  • Presents a new perspective on the world
  • Enables parents to lead by example
  • Offers experiences in empathy
  • Demonstrates teamwork
  • Creates a lifelong ethic of service

Most significantly, youth who volunteer and observe their parents volunteering are 2x more likely to volunteer and be charitable as adults. When families share in the experience of volunteering, the impact is far reaching and long lasting.