Stories

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Volunteer Spotlight

Matei Family

“It’s our connection to the City.”

It was three years ago when Sorin Adam Matei and his wife Daniela moved to Chicago from Indianapolis with their daughter Audrey. Soon after, Audrey came home from school asking to get involved with Honeycomb. “When Audrey was in 6th grade, one of her classmates was volunteering with Honeycomb and Audrey found out,” says Sorin. “Audrey asked her mom if she could start volunteering–and she did…her first project in the community was cleaning up a beach.”

Now an 8th grader at University of Chicago’s Lab School, Audrey continues to volunteer with her dad. The daughter and dad duo go together every time and try to select projects local to their South Loop neighborhood.

“Honeycomb helps us feel connected to Chicago,” stresses Sorin. “With our move from Indiana, this was a way for our family to become part of our new home. It’s our connection to the City.”

Some of Audrey and Sorin’s favorite service projects include making toys for shelter animals at The Anti-Cruelty Society and working outside in the urban gardens and city beaches. Audrey also participated with other volunteers in the Honeycomb Craft Fair hosted by Sew Crafty Studio in the summer of 2017. She sold homemade slime and jewelry–all the kid crafters raised more than $1,500 for Honeycomb.

“Honeycomb projects are really fun and fulfilling experiences,” Audrey says, “it’s really nice to be there when others need it the most.” “I think Honeycomb is helping so many people directly and indirectly…that is so amazing for the city and future of Chicago.”

Sorin adds that Honeycomb has inspired his family to lend a helping hand in their communities. “We simply admire the founders of Honeycomb for taking the time to do this and be successful. It’s truly remarkable.”

Outside of attending Honeycomb Project events, the Matei Family keeps busy. Sorin is the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Education at Purdue University. His wife Daniela is an oncologist at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center at Northwestern. Audrey likes to paint, draw and experiment in media production and Photoshop. She has an older brother (Justin, age 20) who attended Culver Military Academy. The Matei Family loves to travel and visit family in Europe and listens to books on tape during car ride adventures.

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