Salvation Army celebrates National Donut Day with free donuts in Cloquet

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Who knew that the Salvation Army had a historic tie to National Donut Day? 

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.

In Cloquet, Dave Keller (thrift store manager) and David Westerberg (case manager) were outside bright and early Friday morning, ready to serve the hungry ... with lots of free donuts and hot coffee in honor of National Donut Day, a Salvation Army tradition.

Today, Salvation Army workers continue to care for and comfort thousands of people each day who battle hunger around the world and here in the Chicagoland area. By supporting Donut Day, with a donation or through volunteering, you help The Salvation Army keep its food pantries, meals on wheels, senior citizen feeding programs and childcare nutrition programs alive and well. The Cloquet Salvation Army is located at 316 Carlton Avenue, on the corner of Carlton Avenue and Fourth Street.

78th Annual National Donut Day Fun Facts from the Salvation Army

Salvation Army:

  • 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.
  • Last year, 30 million Americans received assistance from The Salvation Army’s 3,600 officers, 60,000 employees and 3.4 million volunteers.