Stories from the Heart: Panda Express is a bear hug to our community

The next time you think about where to eat, consider a restaurant that makes a difference

The life-changing care Ascension Sacred Heart provides has touched the hearts of many who strive to ensure that this incredible mission of care continues for future generations. Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation is proud to be a partner in this endeavor. Please enjoy these “Stories from the Heart.”

The American Chinese restaurant in Pensacola continues to support Children’s Miracle Network

The next time you think about where to eat, consider a restaurant that makes a difference. Located less than a mile from the Studer Family Children’s Hospital at Ascension Sacred Heart, Panda Express has been a proud partner of the Children’s Miracle Network since 2007, donating more than $86 million to its hospitals, to date.

“At Panda, we believe every child deserves the chance to succeed and create a life full of possibilities, and that can be achieved with healthy bodies and minds,” says Tina Hsing, Director of Panda Cares, the philanthropic arm of Panda Express. “Since the very beginning, our commitment has been to support the health and education of youth, especially those in underserved communities.”

Panda fundraises in stores and through corporate events to give back to the communities it serves. Founded upon a core value of giving, Panda Cares has a big heart for kids, “We are honored to be able to help the staff and families at local children’s hospitals and be part of the healing journey.” Hsing says.

When you visit a Panda Express location, you may be asked for a donation to support your local hospital at the register, and you may hear a bell followed by a cheer of “Thank You” — an experience you’ll see every time a donation is made. Additionally, restaurant associates give their time and resources by visiting children and families alongside the Panda mascot, bringing smiles and their delicious American Chinese food.

“Giving back and having a generous heart actually work better in life,” says Andrew Cherng, co-founder of Panda Express. “Our passion for giving means that we contribute to the communities we serve, in any way we can.”

Each year, Panda Express raises funds for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals in three main ways: donations both in-store and online, an Associate Giving Program by which associates pledge a portion of their paycheck to their local hospital, and special events — including the annual Panda Cares Golf Tournament, which raised a record-breaking $3 million in 2019.

“We have shared values with the Studer Family Children’s Hospital in Pensacola and a joint mission of taking care of the community,” Hsing shares. “When our associates go to the hospitals and visit the children and families we are supporting firsthand, their stories and resilience inspire them to do more.”

In addition to raising more than $125,000 for the Children’s Hospital last year, Panda Express donated more than 200 meals and 18,000 surgical masks to aid in COVID-19 relief at Ascension Sacred Heart Pensacola — with more than 5 million masks and 53,000 hot meals donated across our nation. According to Hsing, that’s just part of the culture of the restaurant group founded by Andrew and Peggy Cherng.

“We believe that during times of crisis, it is even more important to take care of our communities and reach out to help lift up others,” she says. “We are blessed to have the means to make a difference.”

So … what’s for dinner tonight? 

About the Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation
Since 1915, Ascension Sacred Heart has been at the heart of healing for Northwest Florida and South Alabama. Like our founders, the Daughters of Charity, Ascension Sacred Heart is dedicated to providing quality, compassionate healthcare to the citizens of our regions, regardless of their ability to pay. This steadfast commitment to our community could not have been achieved without the support and generosity of the thousands of individuals, businesses and organizations that have donated to Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation. Through this charitable giving, Ascension Sacred Heart Foundation has been able to provide millions of dollars of free and low-cost healthcare to the poor, uninsured, under-insured and low-income families. With the help of generous donors, we are proud to partner in Ascension Sacred Heart’s mission of care along the Gulf Coast.

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