Fun Fact Friday: National Donut Day

Did you know that today is National Donut Day? It’s true!

You might think that this is a recent, “made up” holiday, but the holiday was actually started by the Salvation Army in 1938!

According to the Salvation Army website, “The idea for Donut Day began on the battlefields of France during World War I when Salvation Army workers served coffee and donuts to soldiers in the trenches. Rations were poor so the donut idea was conceived as a means of bringing the soldiers cheer. Donuts were not the reason Salvation Army workers were in the fighting zones of France. Those men and women were there primarily to give spiritual aid and comfort to the American soldier and his allies. They were there to be a link with home and family.”

Here are some other fun facts about Donut Day, from the original source:

  • The Salvation Army started National Donut Day during the Great Depression as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to The Salvation Army’s social service programs.
  • National Donut Day commemorates the “donut lassies,” female Salvation Army volunteers who provided writing supplies, stamps, clothes-mending and home-cooked meals, and of course, donuts, for soldiers on the front lines.
  • Approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to American soldiers in France starting in 1917 during WWI.
  • With limited resources, these treats were fried, only seven at a time. The Salvation Army’s Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance cleverly thought of frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets.

As you can see, not only is National Donut Day a real holiday, but the effort behind it made a genuine difference in soldier’s lives, by providing a much needed morale boost!


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