Panda Express and its philanthropic arm, Panda Cares Foundation, announce the second annual Project Fortunate campaign, developed to thank guests and associates for supporting the restaurant’s charitable efforts over the years. As Panda Express celebrates its 35th anniversary and embarks on the season of giving, Project Fortunate will serve as a reminder of the smiles given back to underserved children and families through Panda Express’ in-store donation program, which has raised more than $95 million in charitable contributions since the restaurant was established in 1983.
“Project Fortunate is an opportunity for us to highlight the remarkable generosity our guests and associates display every time they contribute to Panda Cares,” says Peggy Cherng, co-chair and co-CEO of Panda Restaurant Group. “Through the ringing of our bell in-stores, we are able to illustrate how thankful we are for the chance to help those in need and to bring hope to the communities that we operate in.”
As a gentle reminder to guests that their kindness has a large impact, once a donation has been made, associates ring the bell and express acknowledgement by giving guests a loud and genuine “Thank you.” The in-store bells are a symbol of the celebratory bell children ring when they’re able to go home from a stay at a Children’s Miracle Network hospital, one of Panda Cares’ primary charitable partners. As a result of in-store donations and the Associate Giving Program, Panda Cares raised more than $32 million in 2017.
“During this important time of giving, we feel extremely fortunate for our guests and members of the Panda family who are able to uplift their communities,” says Dr. Cherng. “As an organization, our hope is to create an environment that nurtures the spirit of selflessness through our core values which are grounded in gratitude and generosity.”
In addition to the Children’s Miracle Network partnership, the millions donated each year by guests and associates give Panda Cares the ability to provide funding to Panda’s Education Programs benefitting over 780,000 students, and enabled the donation of 110,159 meals in 2017. With over 35,000 associates and 2,100 restaurants globally, Panda Express truly believes every individual has the power to make a difference.