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The Salvation Army Celebrates 76th Annual National Donut Day!

On June 7, The United States recognizes the 76th Annual National Donut Day!  It is only appropriate The Salvation Army who popularized the donut, will join in this celebration.

As America entered World War I in 1917, The Salvation Army established a mission to provide for the needs of U.S. soldiers fighting in France.  Salvation Army volunteers traveled overseas to set up service “huts” located in abandoned buildings near the front lines where they could serve baked goods, provide writing supplies and stamps and offer a clothes mending service to the soldiers in battle.

When providing freshly baked goods proved to be a difficult feat considering the hut’s conditions, two entrepreneurial Salvation Army volunteers named Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance cleverly thought to fry donuts in soldiers’s helmets.  The volunteers were capable of frying seven donuts per batch.  The sweet treats, along with the warm hearts and glowing smiles of those who served them, brought a bit of comfort to American soldiers who were serving their country.  Nicknamed “Doughnut Lassies” and “Doughnut Girls,” these women made history by introducing this  little known confection to the United States when the “Doughboys” returned from war.


The first National Donut Day was established in Chicago in 1938 to raise money for people in need during the Great Depression.  The holiday has since been celebrated on the first Friday in June as a way to commemorate the service of The Salvation Army’s Doughnut Lassies and honor the memory of our soldiers.  The donut has become synonymous with The Salvation Army’s social services and continues to be a comfort food served by The Salvation Army to those in need during times of disaster.

For the third year in a row, Entenmann’s Bakery is helping The Salvation Army celebrate National Donut Day.  In continued support of The Salvation Army, from May 1st to June 15th, Entenmann’s Bakery will donate $1 to The Salvation Army for every person who “likes” the Entenmann’s Facebook page, up to $30,000!

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