Our Story

On a road trip six years ago, Kristina Lowenstein and Catherine Tannen shared a wish to do more community service with their families. Before having children, Kristina and Catherine actively volunteered, but now it wasn’t so easy – their lives were hectic. They wanted to connect their kids to the issues families in Chicago face every day, like poverty, public safety and pollution, but struggled to find meaningful opportunities for civic engagement that welcomed people of all ages.

In 2011, they founded 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, resources and expertise needed to make family engagement easy and impactful for our nonprofits partners.


We have a hive full of sweet ideas, DIY projects and resources to help families be informed,  active and engaged in our community for the long-term.  Honeycomb volunteers are going out into Chicago’s neighborhoods and making difference everyday. Read our stories and see for yourself. 

Community Impact

Since 2011, more than 8,500 youth and their families have participated in Honeycomb programs. Volunteer families represent 83% of Chicago-area zip codes, representing the full diversity of our city. 75% of Honeycomb volunteers live in low-to-moderate income communities.  Our projects help at-risk, homeless, and low-income individuals and families, and improve natural and recreational areas in under-served and disinvested communities.

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

Why Family Volunteering Matters


Research supports family volunteering as an emerging strategy for strengthening communities. Participating together in community service enables kids and parents to spend quality time learning together, while addressing important social issues. Youth who volunteer and observe their parents volunteering are 2x more likely to volunteer and be charitable as adults. Volunteering as a family:

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  • Provides quality family time
  • 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

Sources: Corporation for National and Community ServiceNational Human Service Assembly