National Donut Day Began With The Salvation Army!

Serving Donuts

The Salvation Army donut lassies serving donuts.

The Salvation Army started National Donut Day in Chicago in 1938 during the Great Depression as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to The Salvation Army’s social service programs.

During World War I, about 250 Salvation Army volunteers supported American troops by providing clothes, goods, and services. In response to limited food supply, Salvation Army’s Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance began frying donuts in helmets. This sweet tradition inevitably popularizing donuts in the US.

National Donut Day, the first Friday in June each year, commemorates the “donut lassies,” who provided writing supplies, stamps, clothes-mending, home-cooked meals, and donuts for soldiers on the front lines.


This year, National Donut Day falls on Friday, June 3rd.



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