About

Our Story

How can we raise our children to be informed, empathetic and engaged? On a road-trip six years ago, Kristina Lowenstein and Catherine Tannen shared this challenge with each other. They wanted to connect their children to the issues families in Chicago face every day, like poverty, hunger and violence, but found few opportunities for civic engagement that 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 services.

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What We Do

Engage

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. 

Mobilize

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.

Inspire

We have a hive full of sweet ideas and resources to inspire the next generation of  active, informed and engaged citizens.  Honeycomb volunteers of all ages are going out into Chicago’s neighborhoods and taking initiative to building stronger communitites. Read our stories and see for yourself. 

Community Impact

Since 2011, more than 8,500 youth and their families have participated in Honeycomb programs. This year, volunteer families live in more neighborhoods than ever before—90 Chicago-area zip codes, representing the full diversity of our city. 75% of Honeycomb families 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 parents and children to develop close relationships, learn together, and improve their neighborhoods. Youth who volunteer and observe their parents volunteering are 2x more likely to volunteer and be charitable as adults. Additionally, volunteering as a family:

  • 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