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National Doughnut Day’s Origin Story Belongs to Chicago’s Salvation Army




There is almost a holiday for any cause or aspect of society in the modern world, and National Doughnut Day is no exception. Moreover, it has historic Salvation Army origins. The holiday is held every year on the first Friday in June and has become an occasion to find free donuts at retailers across the country — this year, the holiday is June 4, 2021.

National Doughnut Day was established in 1938 by the Salvation Army in Chicago. Their goal was to raise money for the needy during the Great Depression.

In 1938, National Doughnut Day celebrated Salvation Army’s WWI volunteers, who were on the battlefield with the soldiers and their allies. These volunteers assisted soldiers through spiritual aid, writing supplies, hot meals, stamps, and comfort.

When morale was low, the volunteers fried doughnuts in the soldiers’ helmets and gave them coffee, which was especially common when food rations were low. The European treat was so popular amongst the soldiers that they brought the recipe home and spread the sweet treat across the United States once the war was over.

In the modern world, the Salvation Army uses the tasty treat to raise awareness for the various social service programs they facilitate, which feed 1.5 million people in the Chicago area each year. This shows the Salvation Army has maintained its mission and goal over all these years. The Salvation Army does so much more than providing food to communities across the United States.

DoughnutThere are locations all over the country providing free donuts to their patrons. Dunkin Donuts is giving away a free classic donut with the purchase of a beverage.

Krispy Kreme is offering free doughnuts to their customers at all of their locations. But people who have been vaccinated against the coronavirus can present their vaccination card for a second helping. Even better, Krispy Kreme is offering a free donut for those vaccinated through the end of 2021.

Locally-owned businesses and smaller chains may also offer free doughnuts. One of the easiest ways to find out is to check out their social media posts or go to their websites.

Many use this day to go out and eat doughnuts at national retailers, but there should be a new movement to make tasty treats at home. This can be an exciting family activity, allowing each family member to personalize their creation however they want.

National Doughnut Day can also be used as a sleepover theme that can include the personalization of donuts or visiting various retailers to take advantage of all of the free doughnuts.

It is never too earlier to take advantage of a sweet day to raise money for many different causes. National Doughnut Day has Salvation Army origins but can benefit any charity at local schools, religious establishments, or nonprofit organizations across the country.

Written by Kristina Lasher and Cathy Milne-Ware
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


USA TODAY: Krispy Kreme, Dunkin’ to give away free donuts Friday for Donut Day, plus get extra with COVID vaccine card; by Kelly Tyko
K-HITS: The Long, Philanthropic History of National Doughnut Day

Featured and Top Image by Sharon Dowdy Courtesy of UGA CAES/Extension’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Thomas Hawk’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

Cathy Milne-Ware is a seasoned writer and editor. Her background: Journalism for online and print newspapers, new website content from the about page to blog posts, newsletters, book reviews, and social media content. She enjoys writing Health, Entertainment, and Political news stories.

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