GALVESTON (June 2019) – The first National Donut Day was celebrated by The Salvation Army in Chicago in 1938 to minister to those in need during the Great Depression and to commemorate the work of the “Donut Lassies,” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I. In 1917, The Salvation Army sought to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts near the front lines where they provided soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.
Despite the difficulty of baking on the front lines, two officers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in a small pan. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers. Nicknamed “Donut Lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “Doughboys”) returned home from war.
The donut continues to serve as a symbol of the comfort that The Salvation Army provides
to those in need through its many social services programs. The Salvation Army
still serves donuts, in addition to warm meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.
National Donut Day is held annually on the first Friday in June. Celebrate this year in Galveston by visiting a great friend of the Army, Shipley Donuts at 5401 Broadway for a free glazed donut with any purchase.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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 The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org