According to the World Health Organization, “No other humanitarian intervention produces a more dramatic effect on life than access to safe water and sanitation.” To that end, Panda Restaurant Group, Inc., the parent company of Panda Express, Panda Inn and Hibachi-San, and its family of over 18,000 associates, continues its support of Wells Bring Hope, the Los Angeles based charity dedicated to saving lives with safe water in West Africa. PRG and its family of associates recently donated over $112,000, which included a matching gift by its Founder and Chairmen Andrew and Peggy Cherng. These funds will enable Wells Bring Hope to drill 20 more wells in Niger, West Africa.
Panda Restaurant Group Vice President Stanley Liu announced the donation at the recent Wells Bring Hope fundraiser, “A Journey to Niger, West Africa” at the Lladro Gallery, 408 N. Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, hosted by Valgard Capital Partners, LLC, and their principals, Robert Kerrigan and Kenneth Kilroy. The event highlighted the accomplishment of Ken’s remarkable 15-year-old daughter, Kevin Kilroy, who through donations from her church, school and others, raised funds for five wells.
Liu noted that “what we really like about this program is the long term impact it has on the entire community and its ability to empower people to better their lives.” Panda founder Andrew Cherng pointing to the picture of the children around a new well added, “and look at all the happy kids we helped here, what else can you say.”
Also in attendance at the fundraiser was former Los Angeles County District Attorney and internationally acclaimed photographer, Gil Garcetti whose book Water is Key focuses on the issue of women, water, and wells in West Africa. Gil partnered with Wells Bring Hope in 2009 and as a Board Member, he is actively involved in fundraising and creating awareness for the cause.
To date Wells Bring Hope has funded 88 wells. Its goal for 2012 is to fund 100 wells. Partnered with World Vision, who does all of its drilling, Wells Bring Hope continues to work with every village for 15+ years, educating people on good sanitation and hygiene, farming techniques and more. It also teaches well maintenance so all the wells are fully sustainable. Women get micro-financing to start small businesses to improve the economic well-being of their families. Girls can go to school, no longer having to walk miles to carry water.
Every donation is multiplied 5 times, with a dollar for dollar match by World Vision and then additional funds provided over the 15+ years working with the villages. Funds for one well– $5,600, delivers services valued at over $30,000.
To make a tax deductible contribution to Wells Bring Hope, please go to www.wellsbringhope.org or mail a check payable to: Wells Bring Hope, 16563 Park Lane Circle, Los Angeles, CA 90049.
For photos from the event please see http://www.flickr.com/photos/regandigitalimages/sets/72157627876978103/. For video from the event please see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRvxLc6woEo&feature=youtu.be.