National Donut Day is coming

May 19, 2023 | by Capt. Mika Roinila

The Salvation Army Serves Donuts To Public Servants

Captains Grace and Mika Roinila, corps officers with The Salvation Army in Battle Creek, will deliver donuts to policemen, firefighters, and other service personnel in honor of National Donut Day, which happens every year on June 2.

Sweetwater’s Donut Mill, Station 66, and Louie’s Bakery have been asked to donate donuts in honor of this special occasion. “The Salvation Army has a very old history with donuts, and we have always counted it a privilege to be able to serve the many service personnel. It’s our small way of saying ‘thank you’ for what they do” said Capt. Mika Roinila. "We are glad to also report that all Biggby Coffee locations in Battle Creek will provide free coffee & donut holes to all police, fire, ambulance and all first responders who visit Biggby Coffee on June 2" adds Roinila.

In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies, and, of course, baked goods.

Despite discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two officers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in a small frying pan. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.

Nicknamed “Donut Lassies”, these 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 Salvation Army in Chicago celebrated the first National Donut Day in 1938 to help 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. The donut now serves 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 and need.

National Donut Day occurs on the first Friday of June. This year marks 106 years since the work of the original Donut Lassies. On Friday, June 2, many shops across the country will undoubtedly participate in the day by giving away free donuts and supporting The Salvation Army.

Recent Stories

Related Content: Local/Community Support

Get Involved
Share Your Story

We would love to hear about your experience with The Salvation Army.

Share My Story


A gift to The Salvation Army helps someone in your community.

Give Now



Do Good in your community

Find Worship

Join us throughout the week for worship, fellowship, Bible study, meals, community service and fun.