CHANGE IT UP! Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital

Shannon donates to Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital For the month of February, Shannon made it her goal to raise money for the Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital for Change It Up! An initiative where each month an employee chooses a worthy organization for which to fundraise and collect spare change. Educational Insights matches up to $100 in support of the effort. Read Shannon’s touching life story about why this organization remains close to her heart:

I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy, Gage, last June. He was born with a rare birth defect and was born six weeks prematurely.

Gage spent the first eight weeks of his life in the Infant Special Care Unit (ISCU) at Evanston Hospital. The ISCU became a second home to my family. The staff took such wonderful care of Gage and all his friends that were in the ISCU. I would not have wanted him to be anywhere else at that very critical time. I spent each day after he was born inside the ISCU by his side. My husband would visit after work, and most days, my older son would come with me to see his little brother. The wonderful staff would teach me how to care for my son and gave me emotional support during that very difficult time. You know how they say that your hair stylist is your therapist? So are the ISCU nurses. Not only were they taking care of sick babies, but they were also there for me to have a shoulder to cry on.

Each year in the United States roughly 500,000 babies are born premature; however, more babies are surviving today because of special facilities like the ISCU at Evanston Hospital. At one time, there can be as many as 35-40 babies in this facility.

Evanston Hospital is one of at least 10 Level III regional prenatal centers in Illinois. It offers specialty care for high-risk mothers and critically ill babies. The center is staffed by a team of neonatologists, a pediatric surgeon, highly trained neonatal nurses, respiratory therapists, and a multidisciplinary team of pharmacists, dieticians, developmental psychologists, physical and occupational therapists and social workers. The ISCU also serves as a referral center for a network of hospitals extending as far north as the Wisconsin border and as far west as Barrington. In 2014, 527 infants were cared for in the Infant Special Care Unit.

My son is nine months old today, and we visit our friends at the ISCU each month when my son has an appointment at the hospital. I couldn’t have asked for a better experience and will always have those nurses and doctors close to my heart; they were all such amazing people. How do you say thank you to someone who cared for your baby every day with the best care EVER?

Visit to find out how you can help Shannon donate to Northshore Foundation, Infant Special Care Unit of Evanston Hospital.


The spirit of loving, learning, and playing is in the air! To celebrate our Love, Learn & Play campaign, we’d like to share printables over the next few days to keep you excited for Valentines’s Day. Be sure to download, print, and share them with your loved ones.

Make your Valentine sentiments action-packed with these Dino Construction Company™ Valentine’s Day Cards!
Dino Construction Company Download and print your own HERE.

Here are two free Valentine’s Day coloring pages just for you!
DCC Coloring Page
Check out this fun, rugged “You make my heart roar” coloring page. We animated our newest Dino Construction Company™ toy, Rocko the Styracousaurus Dump Truck. Download yours HERE.

Frankie Coloring Page777
We just can’t get enough of Frankie! Download your Frankie coloring page HERE.

Looking for a few Valentine’s Day cards? Look no further. These yummy Frankie’s Food Truck Fiasco Game™, Valentine’s Day cards are purrfect for your loved ones.
Frankie Valentine's Day Cards
Download your own HERE, then print, cut, and share!

This adorable coloring page is inspired by our award-winning color matching game, The Sneaky, Snacky Squirrel Game™. Download your Sneaky Coloring PageHERE.

There are more loveable sharables to come, so stop by for updates to this post.


Change-it-Up_Nancy_Jan.2png In January, our very own Nancy B raised money for Homeboy Industries for the Change It Up! initiative, where each month an employee chooses a worthy organization for which to fundraise and collect spare change. EI matches up to $100 in support of the effort.
Homeboy Industries serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a variety of free services and programs. The organization operates several social enterprises that serve as job-training sites including restaurants. There is even a café at the Los Angeles International Airport! How fabulous is that?


Not only does this organization assist participants with career and educational services, but they also have therapeutic and support services. In addition to paying participants to receive job training, they also require that they spend part of their working day improving their daily life. They also offer tattoo removal services, substance abuse treatment, and legal assistance. All of these services are offered in a trauma-informed therapeutic community setting that also allows them to work on attachment repair and building healthy relationships with co-workers who may have been members of rival gangs.

Find out how you can help Nancy B donate to Homeboy Industries, HERE.

Poll for our EI Parents: We Need Feedback for a new product!

We’d love your feedback on a new product we’re developing for 2016! Help us create something YOUR kids would love.

Imagine yourself in a toy store checkout line. You see a themed novelty toy good for ages 3+ and under $10 hanging by the checkout. Which themed packaging for our mysterious & affordable novelty toy do you think would be most appealing to your children?

1. Sports
2. Dinos
3. Vehicles
4. Princess
5. Under the Sea
6 Fairy Garden

Also: is there a theme not mentioned above that you’d like to see?

In your response, please tell us the age(s) of your child or children and if they’re a boy or girl.

Your help and insights will help us create the best toys possible. Looking forward to your feedback!

Change It Up! The Heart of Ida

Change-it-Up_Dec_JessieThis past month, Jessie made it her goal to raise funds for The Heart of Ida for the Change It Up! program, where each month an employee chooses a worthy organization for which to fundraise and collect spare change. EI matches up to $100 in support of the effort.

The Heart of Ida is a non-profit organization that serves the older adult population in and around Long Beach, CA. Their daily mission is to help older adults preserve independence as long as possible, and provide comfort and cheer when assisted living is necessary. Also a resident of Long Beach, Jessie connected to the organization because “the idea of being old and lonely is heartbreaking.”

The organization helps to facilitate these programs:

1. Safe at Home: Nationally, one-third of people over 65 and half of those over 80 will fall each year. Safe at Home volunteers visit clients to perform a multi-point safety check, make repairs, and refer a licensed professional.

2. Operation Holiday Hearts: This seasonal program brings cheer to older adults residing in board and care homes, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. Every December, volunteers deliver personal hygiene kits, among other items, to seniors in need in Long Beach, CA.

Find out how you can help Jessie donate to Heart of Ida, HERE.