Three Cheers for National Doughnut Day!
During World War I, approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to our American soldiers fighting on the front lines in France starting in 1917.
As the young soldiers faced physical and emotional peril amidst the fighting, female Salvation Army officers Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance had the idea to comfort them with good home cooking, using their limited ingredients to fry up in helmets delicious doughnuts for the boys.
These women, earning the nickname “Doughnut Lassies” and “Doughnut Girls,” served countless treats to grateful soldiers, traversing through the trenches to bring the men doughnuts and coffee. More than just filling an empty stomach, these doughnuts and the joyful presence of the women who worked so hard to make them provided the soldiers with the boost their spirits needed during an extraordinarily difficult time.
The doughnuts became an instant hit that was brought back to America by returning “doughboys.”
The Salvation Army celebrated the first National Doughnut Day in 1938 in the city of Chicago as a way to honor Salvation Army “doughnut lassies” from World War I. They started the Day as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to the Army’s social service programs during the Great Depression.
And today, 73 years later, we continue that tradition to help raise awareness for the critical services we provide to 30 million Americans in need each year! To support The Salvation Army on National Doughnut Day, please text the word “DONUT” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
To celebrate with us, check out our original doughnut recipe used by Salvation Army Doughnut Lassies. Or, join us at one of our many events going on across the country. For a full list and more info, click here.
- Augusta, ME: The Salvation Army will offer free doughnuts and coffee between 7a.m. and 10a.m. at the Tim Hortons on Western Avenue.
- Chicago, IL: Community members can help The Salvation Army “Erase Hunger” on June 3rd and 4th. Fundraisers will be on the streets handing out commemorative Doughnut Day tags to donors to help support feeding programs for children, seniors, the homeless and families in need.
- Hampton, VA: The Salvation Army and Krispy Kreme are partnering to provide doughnuts to Salvation Army clients, including members of senior programs.
- Los Angeles, CA: BakeMark will make a $10,000 donation to support The Salvation Army’s Haven Shelter in West Los Angeles. The Salvation Army will also provide free doughnuts and coffee to veterans at the Haven served by volunteers in “Lassie” uniforms.
- Phoenix, AZ: Community members who donate gently used items to a Salvation Army Family Store on June 3rd will receive a free Dunkin’s Donut and a coupon for a free dozen Dunkin’ Donuts.