Local Salvation Army celebrating National Donut Day

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The National Donut Day tradition has roots dating back to World War I when nearly 250 Salvation Army volunteers, known as “Donut Lassies,” traveled overseas to provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as fried confections, supplies and other services to troops on the frontlines. Courtesy Salvation Army

The Salvation Army of Kent County will deliver 35 dozen doughnuts Friday to thank first responders for their work in the community.

June 4 is The Salvation Army’s annual Donut Day. To commemorate the occasion, The Salvation Army of Kent County will spend the morning personally delivering over 35 dozen doughnuts to the Grand Rapids and Wyoming police departments, Kent County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Rapids fire departments, and AMR and Life EMS ambulance services as a small way to thank them for their work in the community.

“We look forward to Donut Day every year,” said Major Glen Caddy, Salvation Army divisional commander. “Not only is it a reason to enjoy a treat, but it brings to light The Salvation Army’s long history of service. First responders are always on the clock supporting our community, and we’d like to recognize and honor them for their contributions.”

The National Donut Day tradition has roots dating back to World War I when nearly 250 Salvation Army volunteers, known as “Donut Lassies,” traveled overseas to provide emotional and spiritual support, as well as fried confections, supplies and other services to troops on the frontlines.

The Donut Lassies fried doughnuts in small pans, or helmets if pans were not available, and are credited with popularizing the doughnut in the U.S. when troops returned home from war. The Salvation Army in Chicago celebrated the first National Donut Day in 1938 to help those in need during the Great Depression and to honor the work of the Donut Lassies.

The doughnut now serves as a symbol of the comfort that The Salvation Army provides to those in need through its social services programs. The Salvation Army still serves doughnuts, in addition to hot meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.

The Salvation Army of Kent County has served year-round since it was organized in 1883. In 2020 alone, the Kent County organization provided critical services to nearly 30,000 individuals. Its net of programs and services includes emergency food assistance, housing resources and energy bill assistance, support for those struggling with substance use disorder through the Adult Rehabilitation Center and Turning Point Programs, programs that impact people of all ages at the Kroc Center and Fulton Heights Corps, and help for disaster victims every time catastrophe strikes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, all programs and services evolved to meet the increased needs of families and individuals.

More information on Donut Day and a link to donate are available here.

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