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Project Panda

Project Complete
The GDMLI Class of 2013 celebrated the completion of its project on May 7th, 2013 with a ribbon cutting at Amanda the Panda's new offices. The GDMLI Class of 2013 exceeded its fundraising goal and raised over $152,000. $82,714 was spent to renovate the space and $54,957 was donated to Amanda the Panda to continue their renovation efforts.

Project Overview

Amanda the Panda's mission is to restore grieving children and families into their productive lives through innovative services that provide hope and healing. Since 1980, they have delivered love and caring through weekend grief camps, support groups, fun days, school visits and holiday support to inspire hope and healing after the death of a loved one. Nearly 20 percent of adults have experienced the death of a child, and 22 percent have faced the death of a sibling, relative or close friend before they've graduated from high school. Less than half (46%) of the population is aware that a support organization exists to help them through their grief. Amanda the Panda helps ease the hurt.

The Greater Des Moines Leadership Institute
(GDMLI) Class of 2013 partnered with Amanda the Panda to create the first, solely dedicated grief center in our community. This year's class renovated the space located at 1821 Grand Avenue in West Des Moines, to accommodate needed program expansion. This former hospice now doubles Amanda the Panda's current space to allow program expansion, eliminates rented off-site storage and provides a fenced outdoor space for activities.

With your help and support, the GDMLI Class of 2013 met its fundraising goal and completed the project on time, transforming Amanda the Panda's new facility into a welcomed oasis for those it serves. Click here to donate to Amanda the Panda.

Project Scope

  • Phase 1: Renovated the main floor and designed two new rooms for Clients

  • Phase 2: Build out the lower level which includes 2,264 square feet of space to be used for on-site programming

  • Phase 3: Design and build a landscaped garden in the fenced backyard including a special garden for families to memorialize their loved ones

  • Fundraising goal to complete renovation: $125,000
  • Targeted move in date: March 1, 2013


Our sincere thanks goes out to these generous supporters:




Davis Brown Law Firm

Kim and Jean Walker



Bankers Trust

McGladrey LLP

Renaissance Group

United Health Care

Meredith Corporation

Patty & Jim Cownie Charitable Fund

R&R Realty Group

A Peek Inside:
Amanda's House
Center for Grief and Loss

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