Since 2006, the International House of Pancakes (IHOP) has dedicated one day out of the year and turned giving out pancakes into a fundraising strategy.
On March 7, IHOP held their National Pancake Day events all across the country. In every store location they offered each customer one free short stack of buttermilk pancakes.
The United States is not the only place to participate in this day of giving, but also the IHOP locations in Mexico, Canada and the Phillipines also contribute to raising funds for their communities on March 7.
In return of the free stack of pancakes, they request that donations be made to three foundations they are partnered with. Since 2006, IHOP has raised over $24 million dollars for youth ‘help and wellness’ organizations.
Krystal Stigres has worked as the assistant manager for the Searcy IHOP for over two and a half years. She has participated in National Pancake Day and experienced it first-hand.
“It is a very intense day that brings in a lot of money for Children’s Hospital,” Stigres said. “Very busy, and very hectic, but it is all for a good cause. We usually have a really good turnout for that.”
Of the 1,700 locations worldwide, 15 are located in Arkansas. With the Harding campus just minutes away from an IHOP, students have been known to stand in line for the long awaited free stack of pancakes on this day.
“Last year I remember going to the IHOP National Pancake Day and the wait was definitely worth that. Not only do you get to indulge in delicious pancakes, but you also get to help children in need,” sophomore Harding Student Jake Shumate said.
IHOP’s goal this year on the nationally celebrated day was to raise a total of $3.5 million to donate to multiple causes. Customers purchased “wall icons” as a form of a pledge and to donate to the foundations. In addition to this, any money that is raised from sales goes directly towards children in need who live near each IHOP location.
“I know last year we raised between $33,000 and $44,000 between all of the Arkansas stores alone,” Stigres said. “With the money received in all, they were able to buy new helicopters and build onto different parts of the hospital.”