Boys & Girls Clubs of SW Washington
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News Release
Panda Express SWAG
Panda Express SWAG
Panda Cares, The Philanthropic Foundation Of Panda Express, And Boys And Girls Clubs Of Southwest Washington Open Panda Cares Center Of Hope In Vancouver, WA. (Photo) - 02/16/24

VANCOUVER, WA – February 14, 2024 – In partnership with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Panda Express presented the ribbon cutting for the newest Panda Cares Center of Hope at the Clinton & Gloria John Clubhouse on January 31st, 2024. 

Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Panda Express are proud to bring a Panda Cares Center of Hope to Vancouver. The opening of this Center of Hope aligns directly with Panda Express’ commitment to foster academic success among Boys & Girls Clubs members across the country. Panda Cares Center of Hope is a newly renovated space within our Club designed to deliver more joy, education, and critical social-emotional development to local communities. Project Learn, the platform that unites each Center of Hope, is a holistic strategy intended to reinforce and enhance what youth learn during the school day, while creating experiences that invite them to fall in love with learning. Rooted in social-emotional development, this program is based on research showing that students do better in school when they spend their non-school hours engaged in fun and academically beneficial activities. 

Our Panda Cares Center of Hope was designed to meet the needs of our Club members and support them on their academic journey. The renovated space includes new furniture, a fresh coat of paint (including a chalk board wall), a calm reading corner, and a large touchscreen tablet to be used during our evidence-based academic programming. The new wall and ceiling panels help to absorb sound and great a space more conducive to learning. The Center of Hope will be a special place for hundreds of Club members for many years to come!

The Grand Opening Celebration was an exciting event where Club staff, Panda Express volunteers, community members, and nearly 100 Club youth came together to celebrate this accomplishment. Following the ribbon cutting, attendees enjoyed a photo booth and catered meal by Panda Express, and all youth were able to take home a SWAG bag filled with new books and a small panda stuffed animal with an Adoption Certificate. 

In addition to the $45,000 in grant funds to create the Center of Hope, Panda representatives presented a $10,000 check to be used as college scholarship funds for youth at the Clinton & Gloria John Clubhouse. This additional gift further exemplified Panda Cares’ generosity and commitment to supporting the academic success of young people in our community. 

Since 1999, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington (BGCSW) has been providing a safe, positive environment for our community's most vulnerable youth. We are one of the only agencies in Clark County to offer daily, affordable and accessible after-school and summer youth development programs in the highest-need neighborhoods that have few, if any, other youth services or facilities. Our mission is to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to realize their full potential as productive, caring, responsible citizens. Thousands of youth have benefitted from the caring adult guidance and rich variety of programs offered by Clubs. Combined, our 8 sites serve an average of 500 youth daily after school and in our summer programs. True to our mission and purpose, Club members can participate in year-round programs (school-year and summer) for as little as $100, and we never turn anyone away for inability to pay. BGCSW relies on private philanthropy, in-kind partner contributions, and government grants to cover the true cost of operations. To learn more about Boys & Girls Clubs of Southwest Washington’s programs, please visit www.mybgc.org or call 360-448-7089. 

About Panda Express 

On a mission to inspire better lives, Panda Express® is the largest Asian dining concept in the U.S. Family-owned and operated since 1983 by co-founders and co-CEOs Andrew and Peggy Cherng, Panda Express is best known as a trailblazer for creating a wide variety of industry-first recipes, including its best seller the Original Orange Chicken® and award-winning Honey Walnut Shrimp™, which have defined the category of authentic American Chinese cuisine. Each dish at Panda Express, including the Wok Smart® selections, is thoughtfully crafted with quality ingredients and inspired by bold Chinese flavors and culinary principles. The restaurant brand has more than 2,400 locations and has introduced American Chinese cuisine to twelve international countries. Powered by this global family of associates, Panda Cares® the philanthropic arm of Panda Express, has raised more than $282 million and dedicated countless volunteer hours in bettering the health and education for over 13 million youths, as well as supporting communities in need since 1999. In 2020, the organization established the Panda Cares Scholars Program to provide the necessary funding, academic support and leadership development to help high school and college students learn, lead and thrive towards a bright future. For more information, visit pandaexpress.com or pandacares.org.

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