The Salvation Army celebrates National Donut Day by honoring our nation’s heroes

Jun 5, 2023

The Salvation Army North and Central Illinois Division celebrated National Donut Day with our nation’s heroes by handing out special Salvation Army-decorated donuts at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital. Friday, June 2nd, marked the 85th anniversary of National Donut Day, and thanks to our friends at Dunkin’ BF Group USA, 45 dozen red and white frosted donuts were delivered by Salvation Army employees and volunteers to veterans and front-line workers.

Established in 1938 by The Salvation Army in Chicago, National Donut Day is a reminder of the bravery of The Salvation Army’s “Donut Lassies” who joined soldiers’ on the front lines during World War I.

In 1917, The Salvation Army volunteers traveled to France and set up makeshift huts to provide soldiers with essential supplies, emotional and spiritual support, and freshly baked donuts. The sweet treat did more than raise spirits; it brought comfort and a taste of home to those who risked their lives.

The Lassies delivered around 9,000 donuts to soldiers daily, bringing joy and boosting morale with every delicious bite. The tradition of serving heroes continues today as we once again prepare to treat those on the front lines fighting for good.

The women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops returned home from war.

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.

Thanks to our partnership with Dunkin’ BF Group USA, customers received a free donut at any of BF Group’s 17 Chicagoland locations with a donation to The Salvation Army on National Donut Day.

In addition to the donuts The Salvation Army handed out at Hines VA Hospital, hundreds of donuts were personally delivered to media outlets across the city to share the sweet treats and to spread the word about the history of this fantastic day.

We want to thank our friends at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital and Dunkin’ BF Group USA as we continue the tradition that started over 100 years ago during WWI.

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