There’s been a new “food truck” making the rounds yesterday and today. It first showed up at Klyde Warren Park yesterday at 1 p.m. and its arrival caused some of the other truckers to wonder if the new food-on-wheels with a ginormous fortune cookie on top was gonna start serving up Orange Chicken and Beijing Beef. After all, it had all the looks of a food truck, complete with a panda painted on its red-and-black service bell.
The folks in the truck got a good laugh out of the suggestion that they were there to serve up to-go vittles. Instead, they were there as part of Panda Express’ Panda Care Tour to raise funds for Children Medical Center Foundation’s Our Children’s House by offering chocolate-covered fortune cookies for a donation.
The tour was in Dallas to provide funds for its Dallas beneficiary Our Children’s House, just as it had done for local organizations in New York City (Friday, July 16, and Saturday, July 17) and Chicago (Wednesday, July 21, and Thursday, July 22).
In addition to the cookie handing out and fundraising at Klyde Warren Park on Sunday, the bus had an afternoon stop Monday at Main Street Garden from 2 to 6 p.m.
But in between the two fundraising stops, the panda, its crew and truck visited Our Children’s House this morning.
As the truck pulled in, there was a balloon sign in front of the building to designate the occasion as “Happy Panda Cares Day.”
Just minutes after setting up shop, patients and staffers like Dawn Penner lined up for cookies and photos with the mascot.
Thanks to the cookie program and the Panda Express’ philanthropic Panda Cares, more than gourmet chocolate cookies were handed out at Our Children’s House. A check for $7.5M was officially presented to Children’s Medical Center Foundation President Brent Christopher.
When asked about the services provided at Our Children’s House, Brent explained that it is a transitional facility for patients from acute-care hospitals preparing for home after experiencing life-changing health issues.
So, it was a natural fit for the Panda Cares.
Since 1999, Panda Cares has raised $247M for organizations that “serve the health and education needs of under-served youth. Panda Cares focuses on uplifting kids through the four pillars of wellness: mental, physical, emotional and spiritual health.”
The tour has been carefully coordinated to stop in Phoenix on Friday, July 30, and Saturday, July 31; Los Angeles on Tuesday, August 3, and August 4; and winding up in San Francisco on Saturday, August 7, and Sunday, August 8, which is the anniversary day of the family-owned Panda Express’ opening shop in 1983.
If you couldn’t make it to the bus before it left town, you can always show you care by donating online or at Panda Express in-store at check-out.