Gingerbread House Toys partnered with the Child Protection Network of McLean County to be the second recipient of their annual giving program, the Wink Alliance. Named after their famous shop dog Wink, each year the Wink Alliance selects one local non-profit to be the sole recipient of all proceeds from the sale of limited-edition Wink themed toys, branded with the supported organization.
Director of Development Erin Jennings and CPN Board Member Vice President Ryan Scritchlow stopped by Gingerbread House Toys to spend time with Wink and accept a colorful donation check for $12,500 from the Wink Alliance.
Owner Kate Green shared, “I was THRILLED to be able to share this moment with CPN. This big fun check only happens because of all the amazing customers who came to Gingerbread House Toys to buy a Wink stuffy and show their support. We love that Wink, the best shop dog in the entire world, continues to be a symbol for helping kids in our community!”
When asked what she wishes the community knew about CPN, Director Erin Jennings shard, "Child Protection Network is here to not only support organizations that are currently serving children who have been abused or neglected, but also organizations with programs that are working towards prevention. CPN depends on our supporters, and Gingerbread House Toys supported us in such a fun and uplifting way this season! We are always looking for committee members, volunteers, and board members. If you would like to make a donation or see what we have coming up you can find us at mcleancpn.org. Help us give powerless children POWERFUL voices!"
This year the custom-designed plush toy was 8 inches tall, with a Gingerbread House Toys logo on his paw, and most importantly a holiday sweater vest with the Child Protection Network logo on the front inside a snow globe, displaying Wink’s support for his CPN friends.
All of the proceeds from the sale of “Wink” were donated to CPN. These custom-designed creations are the handiwork of Stuffed Animal Pros, a member of the Budsies family of brands based in south Florida.
Who knew we could all contribute to that through one stuffed animal!
Local organizations that are interested in participating in the Wink Alliance in the future should fill out our contact form!
Going beyond their tagline of “Play more, Grow more!”, Gingerbread House Toys and Child Protection Network both hope the community will continue to come together for the benefit of kids in our community who need our help and powerful voices.
About Gingerbread House Toys
Gingerbread House Toys has been sparking imaginations and delighting children since 1972. Over the years it has become the go-to destination for families, caregivers, and children searching for fun, interesting, high-quality educational toys in Central Illinois. The store’s founder, Tami Jarecki, believed in the power of play to stimulate children’s minds. The shop grew and evolved, moving from her home into an original Victorian gingerbread-style house on Hannah Street.
In 2012, the store changed hands and was purchased by three sisters from Bloomington who had been raised on toys from the original store. Kate, Nikki, and Beki Greene had always loved coming into this magical space as children and were excited for the opportunity to not only continue the traditions of before, but also to offer exciting and innovative products, services, and events. In 2017, the sisters moved into the Foundry shopping district on Washington Street, nestled near Bloomington Cycle and Fitness, Coffee Hound 3, and Green Top Grocery.
At the core of Gingerbread House Toys is the belief that when children play, they’re doing more than having fun, they’re learning and growing, which is why fun toys with an educational angle are abundantly available in their store. On their website, you can learn more about the purpose of play as a method to improve creative and cognitive abilities, gross and fine motor skills, emotional, language, and social skills, as well as improve spatial reasoning.
About Child Protection Network
Established in 1990, The Child Protection Network (CPN) is a 501(c)3 organization whose mission is to provide financial assistance to local agencies that support the treatment and prevention of child abuse and neglect.
A majority of CPN's funds are allocated to the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) program and the Children's Advocacy Centers in Mclean, Livingston, and Dewitt counties. CPN also assists other non-profit organizations, including the Boys & Girls Club of Bloomington-Normal, ABC Counseling & Family Services, Compass Closet, and Children’s Home & Aid, through fundraising activities, such as the "High Five for Kids" campaign.
CPN is primarily governed by a volunteer board of directors dedicated to improving the lives of the children in our community.
In addition to providing funds to local agencies, CPN seeks to spread awareness about child abuse and prevention, ultimately helping to decrease the number of abused children in our community.
Contact Information for Gingerbread House Toys and the Wink Alliance
Gingerbread House Toys | Marketing & Advertising
915 E Washington St #3 | Bloomington, IL 61701
jess at joshuaonenine dot media
Contact information for Child Protection Network
CPN Development Director
ejennings at mcleancpn dot org