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Family Story

Rodzynek Family

“Our kids have ownership in the process.”

Whether it’s working with shelter animals or making healthy meals, the Rodzynek kids each get a turn at picking what volunteer project to do next.“Honeycomb events are unique in effort and unique in the way my kids experience them,” says dad Ilan.

Ilan and his wife, Cindy, found The Honeycomb Project less than a year ago through word of mouth. Their children, Ben (age 12), Mia (age 11) and Eden (age 9) quickly became involved in community service.

“Our first project was at the Free Store at a church on the South Side,” say Ilan. “Donations were already secured from the local community, so my family worked together to bring the items up from the basement, stage them and manage the sales. We served as helpers for the members of the community– so they could get free clothes and housewares.”

And although service projects at Shirley Ryan AbilityLab are a family favorite, the youngest daughters love making meals and interacting with the women at Sarah’s Circle. Ilan adds “It’s all about giving back through all the different projects that Honeycomb offers,” Ilan volunteered in his youth, so it’s important to him and his wife, their kids learn about giving and see how everyone doesn’t have the same type of privilege that their kids experience.

When having these Honeycomb experiences, Ilan and Cindy involve their kids in the decision-making process. “Our kids have ownership in the process. It’s Eden’s turn to pick the project, then Ben, then Mia – we put the decisions in their hands.” “We hope that when they’re in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s…they will continue to make these decisions when it comes to giving back.”

Outside of attending Honeycomb Project events, the Rodzynek family keep busy. Ilan works in marketing and product management for an industrial distribution company and Cindy is a physician at Northwestern University/AbbVie. Ben (age 12) is an athlete who plays soccer and baseball, Mia (age 11) plays the cello and performs with the theatre troupe at Lookingglass Theatre and Eden (age 9) loves baking, gymnastics and soccer. The Rodzynek Family lives in Lincoln Square with their new dog, Milo, and enjoys road trips to visit family in Canada and the States.

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