March 12th is National Pancake Day, an annual event in which iHop gives out a free stack of pancakes for anyone who goes to an iHop anytime between 7 AM and 7 PM. This day isn’t simply just a day for people to get free pancakes; it is organized to encourage people to donate money to aid children who are battling critical illnesses. People have the opportunity to (but are not required to) donate money that will go to children-focused charities such as Children’s Miracle Network, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, and Shriners Hospitals for Children. There is also a chance to buy a $5 wall icon supporting these charities (which also comes with a $5 coupon with a purchase of $10 and more)!
It’s a win-win: participants get a free stack of pancakes while supporting a great cause that saves lives.
On a Yahoo interview, Stephanie Peterson, the company spokesperson, said, “Every year we look forward to kicking off our IHOP Free Pancake Day – Flip it Forward for Kids campaign because it combines the two things we love most – pancakes and helping our communities.” This campaign is so powerful for that reason: people are able to enjoy themselves while contributing to a cause that changes lives.
Last year the chain was able to raise $4 million dollars thanks to the help of selfless volunteers, fulfilling their goal. The chain hopes to reach this same fundraising goal this year as well!
I personally love this event and have participated in it the past two years. Last year, I was able to volunteer at iHop for a two-hour shift. It was an amazing experience; everyone was grateful for free pancakes and was supportive of the entire meaning behind National Pancake Day. I also treated myself to pancakes after my shift. Although I was unable to sign up for a shift this year, I still was able to go to iHop and eat some pancakes for a cause. I am being genuine when I say this: doing good never tasted so good!
This happens annually, so if you missed it this year, be sure to go next year! Try signing up for a volunteer shift, or simply participate in the event by enjoying a good pancake meal.
If you’re interested in supporting charities that support children’s health, there are always opportunities to help out Children’s Miracle Network, Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Shriners Hospitals for Children, or other children-oriented charities outside of iHop.
Brief bios of the charities iHop supports (taken from the iHop website):
- Children’s Miracle Network: Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® have raised more than $5 billion for 170-member hospitals that provide 32 million treatments to kids across the U.S. and Canada.
- Shrines Hospital for Children: Shriners Hospitals for Children® are changing lives every day through innovative pediatric specialty care, world-class research, and outstanding medical education.
- Leukemia & Lymphoma Society: The mission of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society® (LLS) is to cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease, and myeloma, and improve the quality of life for patients and their families.
Written by Audrey Xia – Lion’s Heart Intern and Blogger Audrey is a devoted Lion’s Heart volunteer and a passionate writer. If she’s not volunteering, writing, or playing soccer, you can probably catch her rocking out to some new music or eating Asian snacks.