Volunteer Spotlight

Rodriguez Family

“Whether big or small, you ARE making a difference.”

A seasoned volunteer since her high school years, Vanessa Rodriguez always knew she wanted to expose her children to volunteering…she just didn’t know where to look.

“I was so, so happy to hear of Honeycomb,” says Vanessa. “I was volunteering at Chicago Cares and another volunteer there was telling me about Honeycomb and what they do for families. I went onto their website and right away, I signed up with my daughter to sew blankets for pediatric patients.”

Vanessa and her daughter, Sophia, (age 11) are in their third year of volunteering with Honeycomb, including son Emilio (age 6) who started to volunteer a year ago. “And when my husband is able to, he volunteers as well,” says Vanessa. “My brother has also volunteered and loved helping out…plus he got to spend quality time with his niece and nephew.”

“Everyone is so enthusiastic about Honeycomb,” she continues. “Sophia and Emilio loved baking cookies at Ronald McDonald House and making sack lunches at Whole Foods…plus it’s great for us to hear about the organization we are helping, like La Casa Norte, and learn about where the food is going.”

The Senior Social Drum Circle is another Rodriguez family favorite. “We were at the Lincoln Perry Apartments and the seniors were having so much fun playing different instruments and dancing with the tambourines.”

“We may be doing something small,” stresses Vanessa, “but we are uplifting someone’s day and life.” “Families should volunteer together…we used to volunteer once a month before and now my family volunteers every other month now. But whether big or small, you ARE making a difference.”

The Rodriguez Family lives in Elmwood Park. Vanessa works at BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois and her husband, Sebastian is in healthcare administration. Sophia just won her first team soccer championship and is involved in sign language club and plays the flute. Her brother Emilio, also loves soccer and begins tee-ball in the Spring. The family enjoys road trips and visiting Chicago museums, especially The Field Museum.