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The True Meaning Of National Donut Day – A Century of Donut Lassies

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I enjoy a good “national food day” as much as the next person, but today’s celebration has a deeper meaning. So many of us enjoy the occasional donut, so it is easy to focus solely on the sweet caloric treat.

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National Donut Day Celebrates the Donut Lassies

Real Reason For The Day

As if you hadn’t heard, today, June 2nd is National Donut Day. Held annually on the first Friday in June, National Donut Day was actually established to honor The Salvation Army’s Donut Lassies. These Lassies served the circular sweet treats to soldiers on the front lines during World War I.

In fact, the Donut Lassies are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States. After the troops returned home from war, the humble donut served as a symbol of the many social services The Salvation Army provided.

“The donut was a simple way to remind soldiers on the front lines of World War I that they had support and encouragement from their country, and these small deeds made a big impact,” said Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “In every service The Salvation Army provides, we embrace this same principle and make sure people know that we are a resource for those in need, who will give them a hand up and be a beacon of hope.”

Designing Donuts For Troops

To commemorate the work of these pastry wielding angels and to demonstrate the affect this small token of kindness had, The Salvation Army asked people across the country to submit their own donut designs to be recreated on a real donut and given to a veteran.

With the help of Snapchat artist Evan Garber, a select number of designs submitted through Snapchat were replicated on a real donut. They were given to veterans at The Salvation Army’s Carr P. Collins Social Service Center in Dallas, Texas. The veterans at the center work one-on-one with an assigned case manager who helps them achieve goals like saving money, addressing health needs and establishing income.

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Especially designed donuts for troops

Each of us can join in on the fun. Simply share a donut with someone today as a reminder that #GivingIsSweet.

Here are a few additional facts about the history of National Donut Day and The Salvation Army:

  1. Starting in 1917, approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to American soldiers in France during World War I.
  2. Owing to limited resources, donuts were fried only seven at a time.
  3. Last year, more than 25 million Americans received assistance from The Salvation Army’s 3,500 officers, 65,000 employees and 3.2 million volunteers.

To learn more about National Donut Day and how you can get involved with your local Salvation Army, visit salvationarmyusa.org.


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