WRITTEN BY AUTUMN CLOUDEN

In celebration of the 11th National Pancake Day, IHOP is giving away a free stack of buttermilk pancakes at participating restaurants today from 7 am to 7 pm.

Continuing with tradition of the first National Pancake Day in 2006, IHOP uses this event to raise money to support charities in the communities they operate in. Since the start of the event, IHOP restaurants have raised nearly $20 million.

“Every pancake we give away has a purpose on National Pancake Day,” Darren Rebelez, president of International House of Pancakes said in a statement. “Through the generosity of our guests and the hard work and commitment of our franchisees and their team members, we will help fund life-saving treatment and care for children in need.”

Customers will be asked to leave a voluntary donation in return for the free pancakes. There is a limit of one free stack per customer.

IHOP raised $3.5 million for charity last year, serving 6.6 million pancakes to customers. This year the company hopes to raise $3.5 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Shriners Hospital for Children and other local charities. In order to spread the message to communities, IHOP is also partnering with members of the Kiwanis International, Circle K and Key Clubs.

Children’s Miracle Network is an organization that raised donations for 170 children’s hospitals in the United States and Canada. The donations fund equipment and research needed to treat children.

In addition to raising funds locally, IHOP also uses National Pancake Day to help international networks. It hopes to raise money for The Kythe Foundation in the Philippines, as well as the Asociación Mexicana de Ayuda a Niños con Cáncer (AMANC) in Mexico.

“On behalf of everyone in the IHOP family, we are so grateful to our guests who have turned this into such an incredible event that truly makes a difference in the lives of these kids,” Rebelez added.