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Panda Express Kicks Off 2019 Fundraising in Colorado

The votes are in: Panda Restaurant Group is the winner of the 2019 Communitas Leadership in Community and Social Responsibility; and they’re just getting started.

The 2018 Panda Express fundraising total for Children’s Hospital Colorado, displayed at their 2019 Open House.

Panda Express has been partnered with Children’s Miracle Network hospitals since 2007 through their Panda Cares charitable branch. Panda locations across the country raise money dollar by dollar at the register from customers and their employee giving program in-house. These programs have grown exponentially across the country in the last few years, making them the highest-pacing partner in the entire Children’s Miracle Network partner lineup nationwide.

In 2018, 41 Panda Express locations across Colorado and Wyoming raised $523,538.00 for Children’s Hospital Colorado. They were voted “Partner of the Year” at the national Children’s Miracle Network conference in Orlando, Florida in March of 2019 to recognize their efforts. Panda Express locations in Colorado are using these accolades to fuel even more motivation for increased fundraising.

Carol Balaseti, the Panda Restaurants Training Leader for the Rocky Mountain Region, is oddly unimpressed with the 2018 total. “It’s a good number”, she says. “But we can do so much better. We will double that in 2019.”

The handmade quilt auction winner at the 2019 Panda Express Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting.

The Rocky Mountain Region hosted their annual meeting at a Denver La Quinta location in March. In the midst of intense training and friendly competition on who knew the mission statement best, they hosted a live auction to raise money for Children’s Hospital Colorado. T-shirts, backpacks, hand-made quilts, water bottles, and even snacks were all auctioned off for donations. The regional meeting alone raised over $4,000.

Furthermore, their Open House – meant for newly hired staff and on-site interviews for interested applicants – focused on showcasing their philanthropic culture as a company. As the attendees walked through the room, each table highlighted a different aspect of the company: the history of Panda Restaurants, employee benefits, kitchen policies, and the importance of giving back in the community. Here, they were able to display their Children’s Hospital Colorado fundraising total on the giant check for all attendees to see.

Panda Express doesn’t take fundraising lightly. The managers continue to keep each other motivated through a friendly competition via text message. They require donations for snacks at meetings. They strongly encourage all staff to partake in the employee giving program. If there was any question that the Panda family stands by what they believe in, these practices illustrate that they truly “walk the walk.”

So – next time you swing through the drive-thru for some of that famous Orange Chicken, you can feel confident in your donation knowing that 100% of that money goes to Children’s Hospital Colorado, and that the Panda Express family has worked hard to make community giving a priority.

To learn more about Panda Cares, visit