Volunteer Spotlight

Beerdeke Family

“Honeycomb restores my faith in humanity….”

Shalon Beerdeke is constantly amazed by the selflessness and positive attitudes shown by Honeycomb families.

“It all started when my son, Zade was four (he is now nine years old),” says Shalon.  “We found Honeycomb and our very first project was at Indian Road Woods, cutting down invasive species. Zade helped use an actual saw and he loved it—he was hooked.”  Since then, Shalon and her son have volunteered once a month at various projects and when Shalon’s daughter Cori, turned four years old, the whole family began volunteering together.

It was about a year and half ago, when Shalon was approached by Honeycomb Co-Founder and Executive Director, Kristina Lowenstein, to join Honeycomb as a Project Leader.

Shalon expressed, “I was super excited to join Honeycomb. And I knew I definitely wanted to be involved with a service project where the kids could actually see the people they were helping.” So every second Saturday of the month, you can find Shalon at the Ravenswood Food Pantry. “In rain or shine, I lead the Honeycomb food pantry project run by Ravenswood Community Services,” says Shalon. “I am blown away by Honeycomb families that come out and have the desire to do good.”

She continues, “there has almost always been inclement weather since I’ve been leading this event…sometimes pouring, other times freezing and that is part of what I’ve come to love about it. It really bonds people together and also gives even better perspective as to why we are doing what we are doing…Honeycomb restores my faith in humanity.”

In addition to leading the food pantry project, Shalon and her family continues to volunteer once a month at Honeycomb. The family has cooked up comfort at Sarah’s Circle, made cookies for hospital patients and cleaned up a city beach. She says, “my kids love the ones with a direct impact and we have found places that we never knew existed…like the school garden project on the West Side.”

“Volunteering with Honeycomb is contagious,” adds Shalon. “We are always spreading the word to our friends and they are always asking us how they can do what we’re doing.”

On her days off from volunteering with Honeycomb, Shalon can be found relaxing with her family and friends and gardening. Her husband Peter is an electrical engineer. Their daughter Cori (age 6) loves the trapeze and tightrope at Aloft! Circus.  Zade (age 9) is a Lego junkie who loves soccer and baseball. The Beerdeke Family lives in Old Irving Park and enjoys going on adventures and visiting new neighborhood restaurants. 

Shalon B Family photo