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Change Kids’ Health, Change the Future During Lunar New Year at Panda Express

Richmond-area stores celebrating Lunar New Year with Soleil and her family in 2019.

This Friday, February 12, 2021, marks the beginning of Lunar New Year and the Year of the Ox in the Chinese zodiac. Lunar New Year is one of the world’s biggest festivals centered around food, family and togetherness.

To bring to life the spirit of Lunar New Year and invite those who may be unfamiliar, Panda created a 3-minute short film that tells the story of a young man discovering the meaning of the holiday in his own way. The short film depicts many Lunar New Year traditions, including the exchange of lucky red envelopes, or “hóng bāo” which is typically gifted on the first day of Lunar New Year. With festivities looking a bit different than years before, Panda has created a unique digital red envelope experience, allowing guests to share good fortunes with their loved ones from near or far. Through Feb. 28, guests can visit and create personalized digital red envelopes with special messages and stickers.

Since 2007, Panda Express has been bringing good fortune to millions of kids treated at Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals by raising donations year-round. Funds donated stay local and impact patients and families in your community. Additionally, Panda has opened numerous Panda Cares Centers of Hope, which are hospital spaces designed to provide a safe and comforting place where kids can be kids again.

We want to join alongside the associates and guests celebrating this Lunar New Year and take a moment to recognize the immense impact made on Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU in 2020. More than $57, 547 was raised for CHoR and to help kids like Soleil.

Sylvia said her daughter’s health challenges began at birth. At first, doctors suspected reflux or food intolerances, but following a year without Soleil gaining any weight, the family was referred to CHoR. After nearly another year of multiple changes in feeding habits and a variety of diagnostic procedures, Soleil was diagnosed with gastroparesis, a condition that causes problems with stomach emptying and can lead to pain, vomiting, constipation, and poor weight gain and growth. Her team developed a treatment plan focused on both nutrition and growth and improving her stomach’s functionality. Working in collaboration with her CHoR team, Soleil’s family sought recommendations from other pediatric specialists. The combined group worked together to help Soleil manage her symptoms, make mealtimes less stressful and monitor her weight gain and growth. “You can’t approach medicine the same way for adults and kids,” Sylvia remarked. “Having providers focused on children, you know the outcomes will be different. As a family we’re so grateful for Children’s Hospital. We know our journey will be long, but we’re ok because of who we have on the road with us.”

To bring good fortune to your family this Lunar New Year, visit your nearest Panda Express location to pick up a family meal and try the holiday classic, Firecracker Chicken Breast, back for a limited time only. The dish features all-white, raised without antibiotics chicken breast, fresh bell peppers, onions, green beans and whole dried chilis all wok-tossed in a savory black bean sauce.

In 2020, Panda Express associates and guests donated more than $21 million to 131 Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, bringing the total to more than $100M over the lifetime of this partnership. We are grateful for the ongoing partnership with Panda and the many ways they address the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual needs of children, bringing them courage and hope to heal and thrive. #PandaCares