Restaurant holds Christmas pancake breakfast for the less fortunate

For the last 11 years, Jane Bulman and her family have hosted a free Christmas Day pancake breakfast for the less fortunate members of their community.

The Bulmans own "The Original Pancake House" restaurants in Bethesda and Falls Church. On Christmas Day, they'll feed almost 2,000 people who otherwise might not have a hot meal on the holiday.

"They feel wonderful when they come, and they are so grateful," Bulman said. "We felt there was a need."

And many of their guests say the pancakes, eggs and bacon do make them feel like someone is thinking of them.

Guest Charles Shepard said, "It definitely demonstrates that there is an element of care in society. It doesn't show its face very often, but it's there."

The Bulmans are joined every year by a small army of friends, family and volunteers who act as waiters, busboys and even cooks.

Many of the volunteers say they love the feeling of giving rather than receiving.

Amadou Sambou, a volunteer cook, added, "It's the best I can do to show my appreciation for the people that have nothing."

Not only is food served at the holiday event, but free coats and other winter accessories are also passed out to anyone who may need them.

After breakfast, the Bulmans arrange for buses to pick up their guests and take them back to their shelters - VIP treatment many say is better than any gift you'll find under the tree.