Celebrate National Donut Day on Friday, June 7

May 20, 2024

National Donut Day is Friday, June 7, when people across the U.S. will celebrate by scarfing down Long Johns, apple fritters, and other tasty pastries. 

Interestingly, National Donut Day represents something more important than just eating donuts. The Salvation Army started this event in 1938 to commemorate the work of “Donut Girls” – female Salvation Army volunteers who served American soldiers battling on the frontlines of war. 

The Donut Girls first began volunteering in World War I, making and serving thousands of donuts per day for U.S. troops. The women also prayed with the soldiers, helped them write letters, and mended their clothes. The Donut Girls were later credited with popularizing the donut in the United States after the troops (nicknamed “doughboys”) returned home from war. 

The Donut Girls touched the lives of thousands of soldiers, including a Minnesota man and U.S. Marine Corps veteran named Louis Maravelas (pictured with his wife, Stella). Louis has since passed on, but he never forgot about the Donut Girls and the care they provided for him and his battalion while they fought in World War II. 

His granddaughter, Lisa, had this to say: He always remembered these special ladies from The Salvation Army. Throughout the rest of his life, my grandfather told this story to his children and grandchildren. He also supported (The Salvation Army) financially, and he encouraged his family to do so as well.

Today, the donut serves as a symbol of the comfort The Salvation Army provides to those in need. The Salvation Army annually serves nearly 24 million Americans, providing food, housing, clothing, disaster relief, addiction recovery, and other critical services. 

Locally, The Salvation Army Northern Division provides about 6,900 meals every day and shelters about 900 people every night. Additionally, our disaster teams provide food, water, emotional and spiritual care, and other services for disaster survivors and first responders in the aftermath of fires, floods, and tornadoes.

Helen Purviance, one of the first Donut Girls, said it best: “There was also a prayer in my heart that somehow this home touch would do more for those who ate the donuts than satisfy a physical hunger.”

The Salvation Army wishes everyone a happy National Donut Day on Friday, June 7. 

Join The Salvation Army's mission of serving others by giving a donation or signing up to volunteer

Recent Stories

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.