Update: Tuesday, March 1 at 4:30 p.m.
IHOP was busy all day Tuesday as they gave out free pancakes and collected donations for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
The manager of the Ledo Road location says by 4 p.m. on Tuesday they raised $1,500 making their total since they began their campaign on Feb. 1 a little over $4,000. Their overall goal is $5,000.
"It's absolutely great that everybody is more generous not only for free food but to save children's lives," says Manger Brittney Buck whose son was helped by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
Original Story: Monday, Feb. 28
IHOP is giving away free pancakes on Tuesday for their National Pancake Day hoping to receive donations in support of Children's Miracle Network Hospitals . Employees at the Ledo Road location in Albany say they want to receive enough donations from customers to meet their $5,000 goal.
"We want people to come out and donate money so we can get as much collected and keep saving children's lives," says IHOP Manager Brittney Buck.
One-third of the staff at the IHOP on Ledo Road has been assisted by Children's Miracle Network Hospitals.
"Deven he was born a month and a half year, he was right at four pounds. When he was born he wasn't breathing. They had to out a breathing tube down his throat and feeding tube. He was born with pneumonia and he was jaundice," says Buck. She says her son's umbilical cord was also wrapped around his neck when he was born.
IHOP Employee Terry Arnold's granddaughter Breyanna was born two months early and weighed 1 lb. 12 oz.
"She just honestly died in front of my eyes and I didn't know what the sign was, like a little flat line sign," says Arnold.
But thanks to the Children's Miracle Network Hospital programs, both children are doing fine.
Arnold's granddaughter is in speech and physical therapy programs at Phoebe Northwest which, along with Phoebe's Neo-natal Intensive Care Unit and outreach education, is funded by the Children's Miracle Network.
"He was taken immediately to the NICU at Phoebe which allowed him to survive without the equipment and without the children's miracle network he wouldn't have made it," says Buck.
Donations in Albany for the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals go right to local hospitals like Phoebe's NICU. The money helps pay for equipment like monitors and the expensive Giraffe beds which mimics the mother's womb and helps nurses weigh the babies among other things.
"In the NICU they're (donations) used to buy beds that are $40,000 and are very live-saving to our babies," says Registered Nurse and Shift Supervisor in the NICU Susan Banks. "Health care equipment is not cheap at all. It costs a lot."
Banks says every donation helps.
"If you think about it, we have 750 admissions just in the NICU. If you think about how many patients use that bed in one year, just that one bed you're making a difference in someone's life," she says. "You don't know how many lives you're touching by giving a donation to the Children's Miracle Network. You're touching so many lives."
While giving out free pancakes, employees at IHOP plan to tell their experiences with Children's Miracle Network Hospitals when asking for donations on Tuesday.
"When we ask you for money it may not be you now but it could be you later. So when I come to you tomorrow to ask for money don't just say no because you don't know when it could be your time," says Arnold.
Last year, the Ledo Road IHOP raised $4,042.
This year IHOP is encouraging customers to donate at least what they would have paid for the stack of pancakes they are receiving for free. IHOP hopes to raise a combined $2.3 million for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals for 2011.