Panda Express’ philanthropic foundation pledges $1 million to HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital
HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital announced plans today for the Panda Cares® Center of Hope, an outdoor healing garden and playroom. Made possible by Panda Express® guests and associates, Panda Cares funds will also support programming within the children’s hospital to enhance the mental, emotional, spiritual and physical wellbeing of pediatric patients and their families. This will happen through special programs such as art and music therapy, horse therapy, spiritual care and bereavement services, classroom tutoring, theme parties, nutrition programs and physical, occupational and speech therapy.
The Panda Cares® Center of Hope is a nationwide initiative in partnership with Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals). The numerous Panda Cares® Centers of Hope across the country are made possible by donations from Panda Express® guests and associates. Funds raised in-store and online go to each store’s local community.
“Panda Express is one of our largest corporate partners through CMN Hospitals, and we are very grateful for their long-term support. It will help us build healthier futures for children,” said HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital Director Debra Trickey. “The new outdoor space will offer families a place to be outside while maintaining an element of privacy for prayer, meditation, conversation, reflection and relaxation.”
Formerly known as the pediatric healing garden, the newly renovated outdoor garden features open spaces and allergy friendly materials. The seating is arranged in a neighborhood-style configuration and every element was carefully planned for the enjoyment of children and their family members regardless of age, size, ability or disability.
“The renovation of the healing garden was funded through this very generous donation from Panda Cares and numerous local donors,” said Beverly Neisler, chief development officer for HSHS St. John’s Foundation. “The rooftop garden is a wonderful place for our youngest patients and their families to go to relax and unwind.”
Following a multimillion-dollar commitment to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals to fund Panda Cares® Centers of Hope, Panda and CMN Hospitals have debuted Center of Hope locations at several hospitals in the U.S. from California and Texas to Hawaii and Washington D.C. Plans call for the new space in Springfield to open in early July.
Since 2007, Panda Express and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals have partnered together to change kids’ health and change the future. To date, Panda has raised more than $100M for numerous CMN Hospitals, including HSHS St. John’s Children’s Hospital.