National Doughnut Day

I like doughnuts (or donuts). I really like glazed doughnuts. Today I am going to eat a doughnut and donate to the Salvation Army in honor of National Doughnut Day.  Yes, the Salvation Army.  Not Police Officers. That stereotype, like many, has a grain of truth in it. Police became known for liking doughnuts because “back in the day” the only places that was open late (or early morning) and where one could get coffee were doughnut shops. So, people started to connect the police with doughnuts. However, this day is in honor of The Salvation Army, not your local police.

National Doughnut Day started as a fundraiser in 1938 as a fundraiser in Chicago.  The goal was to help the needy during the Great Depression, and to honor The Salvation Army “Lassies” of World War I, who served doughnuts to soldiers.

 

After the US became involved in World War I in 1917, The Salvation Army sent a fact-finding mission to France. The mission concluded that the needs of US enlisted men could be met by places that were to be called “huts”. The huts would serve baked goods, provide writing supplies and stamps, and a clothes-mending service. The six staff members in each hut would have four female volunteers who could “mother” the boys. The huts created by The Salvation Army in the United States were usually near army training centers.

About 250 The Salvation Army volunteers went to France. Because of the problems of providing freshly baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near to the front lines, two The Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. The donuts were an instant hit and soon many soldiers were visiting The Salvation Army huts.

Doughnut Day is still a fundraiser run by The Salvation Army. Many places offer a free doughnut and of course ask for a donation in return.  I intend to participate, because, well, I like doughnuts.