Get ready for the sweetest day of the year. National Doughnut Day is coming Friday.
When the United States entered into World War I, The Salvation Army sent a team of about 250 volunteers to France to provide the soldiers a piece of home by providing baked goods and assisting with letters, mending socks, and more. However, they found it too difficult to provide freshly baked goods on the front lines. It was suggested providing doughnuts, might be an easier pastry to cook and consume.
The first donuts were cooked over an 18-inch stove in a soldier’s helmet. In an instant, the “Doughnut Lassie” was born. The Lassies became famed for serving donuts to solders in battlefront canteens and were the only female non-combatants allowed on the front lines. For weary and homesick soldiers, the donuts became a symbol of home and hope. The “Doughnut Lassies” are often credited with popularizing the doughnut in the United States when the troops returned home from war.
The first celebrated Doughnut Day was held in Chicago in 1938 to help raise funds during the Great Depression and commemorate the work of the “Doughnut Lassies.” In 1954, President Eisenhower declared the first National Doughnut Day in honor of The Salvation Army’s service during World War I, while also reminding Americans that they should give freely of themselves.
Since 1954, The Salvation Army has celebrated National Doughnut Day annually on the first Friday of June, proudly serving on the front lines of poverty in local communities across the nation. Last year, 30 million Americans received assistance from The Salvation Army’s 3,500 officers, 63,000 employees and 3.3 million volunteers.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 135 years in the United States. Approximately 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army are used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.