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Volunteer Spotlight

Polsky Family

“Volunteering with Honeycomb helps us with a sense of belonging and purpose”

Prominent Chicago philanthropists, Tanya Polsky, and her husband Michael believe in the notion that building a community helps to make neighborhoods stronger.  As immigrants to America with no family nearby, they were in search of a better life…but they were also in search of establishing roots and a sense of community.

“Volunteering with Honeycomb helps us with a sense of belonging and purpose,” Tanya says. “We left our communities when we came to America…we had to rebuild our entire network and establish those relationships we left behind.”  Tanya and Michael understand the importance of having those connections and are on a quest to help strengthen Chicago’s communities through their work with Honeycomb.

“Volunteering is a priority in my family,” stresses Tanya. The family is deeply rooted in engaging their children in charitable activity. Two to three times a month, the Polskys volunteer with their sons Peter (age 7) and Simon (age 5) at Honeycomb projects and if their schedule permits in the summer, the family volunteers once a week.

“A couple years ago, I was in a search process and heard about Honeycomb through a friend,” Tanya continues – “my family had an intentional need to find fulfillment in and to practice the values that we try to teach our children. We were doing things in our synagogue and school, but we wanted to get closer to real life…to the real people in Chicago neighborhoods.”

Tanya and Michael firmly believe that the best time to teach charity and kindness is when children are young.  “Having been on both sides of the financial spectrum,” Tanya states, “kids need that opportunity and need that balance.” “Sometimes it’s extremely difficult for young people, especially some young immigrants, to find that sense of purpose and to find their roots…volunteering helps with that.”

Peter and Simon enjoy the variety of Honeycomb projects offered, especially Sarah’s Circle and Ravenswood Food Pantry. The boys leave Honeycomb events and then have deep conversations in the car about their experiences.

“We are feeding people, we are helping to improve lives…we see results and talk about those connections,” Tanya emphasizes. “We exercise kindness to strangers…these moments will help build a foundation for the future.” Big news! The Polsky Family recently received a 2018 National Daily Point of Light Award for their service.

Outside of Honeycomb, the Polsky’s are passionate in local entrepreneurial and philanthropic endeavors. The family is also active with organizations focusing on veterans and the elderly, with their children primarily engaging in Honeycomb efforts. Michael is the Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Invenergy. Tanya serves on the Board of Directors for Planned Parenthood. Peter enjoys reading and playing hockey and Simon loves to build and is the engineer in the household. The boys are brothers to sister Anabell (age 2 & ½) and Emily (age 18). Simon and Peter have been recently nominated for the prestigious Daily Point of Light Award.

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