Panda-Cares-logoMillions may know the good food of Panda Express, but few know the good deeds of Panda Cares. Panda Cares is the charitable arm of the international house of Asian-inspired cuisine, Panda Restaurant Group. With their commitment to aiding children in need and promoting community outreach, a partnership with the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund seemed inevitable.

“While our focus is still supporting the health and education needs of underserved children, we feel that supporting the charity is a great way to promote Panda’s value of giving,” says Adrian Ibarra, a Panda Cares coordinator. Adrian has been instrumental in setting up multiple opportunities to donate to the firefighters’ charity in the last year.

Volunteers Melissa McComas, Megan McComas, Pedro Vargas & John Vega

Volunteers Melissa McComas, Megan McComas, Pedro Vargas & John Vega

At the 2012 LAFD Invitational golf tournament, Panda Cares gifted 10 “Be My Guest” meal cards for the fundraiser’s silent auction. The popular American-Chinese restaurant mainstay also caters the charity’s volunteer appreciation luncheon.

Panda Restaurant Group is celebrating its 40th anniversary. Combine that with the 30th anniversary of Panda Express and 2013 is shaping up to be an excellent opportunity to mark Panda Cares’ generosity and advocacy for causes that touch the lives of those who put themselves in harms’ way for the sake of others.

Panda Express manager Darwin Ilagan & Maria Lopez

Panda Express manager Darwin Ilagan & Maria Lopez

“We’d been looking to partner with more law enforcement, military and firefighter’s organizations,” Adrian explains. “In that search, we found the Fund. It was good to finally get to work with them.”

Although their collaboration has only just begun, Adrian is certainly eager to see Panda Cares become more involved with the charity. He expects future Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firemen’s Fund events to be a welcome addition to the Panda Cares’ roster of goodwill organizations. Adrian shares, “I’m looking forward to it and furthering the partnership.”

Learn more information about Panda Cares and their many projects and activities at pandacares.org.

By Candace Nicholson