Philanthropic arm of Panda Express declares anniversary as annual ‘Panda Cares Day’ with kickoff celebrations on July 18, committing $4 million in grants to Boys & Girls Clubs this year and over $25 million to fund new Panda Cares Centers of Hope with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals
ROSEMEAD, Calif. (July 18, 2019) –For 20 years, Panda Cares, the philanthropic arm of Panda Restaurant Group (“PRG”), has empowered underserved children to learn, lead and thrive for better lives. Panda Cares has donated $140 million to health and education organizations since 1999, powered by the funds raised by Panda guests and associates every day. Today, the foundation announces two new initiatives to support its core focuses in honor of its milestone anniversary:
- Health: Over $25 million commitment to create new Panda Cares Centers of Hope in partnership with long-time Panda Cares beneficiary Children’s Miracle Network (“CMN”);
- Education: $4 million in grant donation to enrich the education programs at Boys & Girls Club (“B&GC”) throughout the nation, starting with celebratory events at 20 B&GC locations on July 18, 2019.
“It is a distinct honor and privilege to serve our communities and to ignite the spirit of giving across the country. At Panda Cares, we believe good fortune is best shared and remain humbled by the generosity of so many,” said Dr. Peggy Cherng, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of PRG. “To us, celebrating Panda Cares’ 20th anniversary is about celebrating the communities we serve and recognizing our passionate guests, associates and brand partners who have joined us in our unwavering commitment to enhance the lives of underserved youth. Our latest initiatives further the collective impact we can make to inspire a brighter future through health and education, creating powerful learning pathways and focused care for the holistic well-being of kids nationwide.”
Panda Cares: Health
Today, Panda Cares reveals its vision to provide continued support to children’s hospitals across the United States and Canada, bringing hope for better lives because every child deserves the opportunity to grow up, to be happy and healthy. Honored two times as CMN’s Corporate Partner of the Year, Panda Cares has raised and donated over $59 million to support 134 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals over the years. Panda Cares is committed to donating over $25 million to fund spaces in hospitals dedicated to giving children and their families the support they need to heal together. The new Panda Cares Centers of Hope powered by Panda associates and guests will offer programs that improve children’s social/emotional, spiritual, physical and mental well-being.
Panda Cares Centers of Hope are designed to create a safe and comforting place where kids can be kids again, serving as a play area where children learn through play to improve self-expression, decrease stress and boost motor skills. Specially curated programs will include therapeutic play, art therapy, meditation and counseling services, among others. In 2019, Panda Cares and CMN will debut six Centers of Hope across the United States.
Panda Cares: Education
Similar to its contributions to children’s health, Panda Cares provides funding for education-oriented programs that help cultivate students’ whole well-being through a balanced learning approach. Focused on character building, academic success and access to higher education, the foundation’s initiatives include leadership and life-changing skill-building to help youth reach their full potential as well as programs that increase proficiency in reading, writing, and math for underserved K-12 students.
Kickstarting its ‘Panda Cares Day’ early with the students during their summer break, Panda Cares is awarding a total of $400,000 in grants to 20 B&GC locations on July 18:
- Boys & Girls Club Jefferson Elementary Unit, Ardmore, Okla.
- Boys & Girls Club of East & WSGV, Monterey Park, Calif.
- Clarence Fraim Club, Wilmington, Del.
- The Club Teen Center, Bellevue, Wash.
- Conrad Prebys Escondido Branch, Escondido, Calif.
- Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, Bronx, N.Y.
- Don Kromer Branch, Arlington, Texas
- Excelsior Clubhouse, San Francisco, Calif.
- Kashmere Gardens Boys & Girls Club, Houston, Texas
- Lied Memorial Club, Las Vegas, Nev.
- The Memorial Park Boys & Girls Club, Oklahoma City, Okla.
- Metro Phoenix, Phoenix, Ariz.
- Murray Club, Murray, Utah
- Neil S. Hirsch Family Boys & Girls Club, Wellington, Fla.
- North Tempe Branch, Tempe, Ariz.
- Santa Ana Club, Santa Ana, Calif.
- Simmons Family Boys & Girls Club, Riverview, Fla.
- Spalding Clubhouse, Honolulu, Hawaii
- True Value Club, Chicago, Ill.
- Yawkey Club of Roxbury, Smith Family Teen Center, Roxbury, Mass.
Donated resources will be used by local chapters towards the education needs of the club including Project Learn. Project Learn is a programming model designed to engage young people in learning and encourage them to succeed in school as lifelong learners. Components of the program include daily homework assistance, individual and small group tutoring, and regular implementation of high-yield activities designed to expose young people to skills and information needed for school success.
Panda Cares is funded through the in-store donation box program and associates at Panda Express, Panda Inn, and Hibachi-San as well as PRG partners and founders. The foundation provides food, funding and volunteer services to underserved youth, and disaster relief efforts. For more information about Panda Cares, please visit PandaCares.org. For media inquiries, please contact Panda@havasformula.com.