franchising

  • Learning Express Toys of Lake Zurich: Making a difference in its community

    Four children and four adults standing in toy store. The children are holding toys they selected. Members of the Dave Farbaky Foundation, Aloha Construction and Omni Youth Services pose with the family selected for a shopping spree.

    Learning Express Toys values being “your local neighborhood toy store.” Part of that means being a good neighbor by helping organizations in our local communities.

    It all started in 1987. Learning Express, Inc. was originally founded as a way to raise funds for a school in Groton, Massachusetts. That value of generosity has remained a key part of our franchise system as we’ve grown to over 120 locations nationwide. Each store owner partners with local schools, foundations, charities, and parent-teacher organizations to help local kids and families.

    As a recent example, Learning Express Toys of Lake Zurich, Illinois hosted a shopping spree for a local family in need in partnership with the Dave Farbaky Foundation and Aloha Construction. Four sisters had 90 seconds to run around the store with large bag each and grab as many toys as they wanted. The foundation’s purpose is to foster “random acts of kindness” for families in need.

    Store owner Rick Derr was moved by the experience of helping the family.

    "At the end, after the four girls shopped, I said, 'I want to thank you for shopping here and providing us a glimpse of giving,'" Rick told the Chicago Tribune. "One of them, about 7 years old, said, 'No, I want to thank you.' And they all looked you in the eye. I felt they were literally good kids. I thanked their mother, too. They were humble."

    Read the full story about the Lake Zurich shopping spree from the Chicago Tribune here.

    Handwritten sign saying "Welcome Dave Farbaky Foundation"Each of our store owners has a story similar to Rick’s about helping local families and making children smile. We strive to be good community members – by partnering with other local businesses, serving local families and helping local organizations. This commitment sets Learning Express Toys apart as a true neighborhood toy store: a value that keeps our customers loyal and our store owners involved and dedicated.

    To learn how store ownership can help organizations in your local community, please visit our franchise page.