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The first Friday in June is nationally recognized as a tribute to The Salvation Army “Doughnut Lassies” and their dedicated support of front line troops during World War I. Officially, this commemoration began in 1938.

Where do the donuts come from?

The Salvation Army began giving support to U.S. soldiers fighting in WWI during 1917. Volunteers traveled to battlefields and began to set up small huts near the front lines where soldiers could receive spiritual and emotional care. This care was brought through providing writing supplies, mending clothing and most popularly, serving baked goods. Donuts were not initially a part of this until two volunteers, Ensign Margaret Sheldon & Adjutant Helen Purviance, were faced with difficult providing fresh baked goods to the soldiers in France and so the idea and famous recipe were born. These sweet treats were a quick favorite amongst the soldiers and soon boosted the moral all along the front-lines. The popularity led to women volunteers being nicknamed “Doughnut Lassies”.

Today the bravery and hard work of the women serving these donuts is celebrated across the country with Donut Day. For The Salvation Army this day represents a part of our history and a moment to remember what a difference we can create when serving those around us.