The first Friday in June is National Donut Day! This holiday was established in 1938 in Chicago to honor The Salvation Army’s “Donut Lassies,” who served the tasty treats to soldiers during World War I and to help raise needed funds during the depression.
Now, 78 years later, many Salvation Army locations will be holding special Donut Day events across the United States to honor this tradition. What follows is a list of those events that are planned for June 5 across Connecticut and Rhode Island.
In Bristol, Connecticut, Captains Charles and Kathy Adams will be making donuts home in their kitchen using the “original” World War I recipe. They will then deliver them to locations across the City. Captain Charles said, “We’ve been doing this for years. I tweak the recipe a little each time and the donuts keep getting better! I may even go into the business. We have a great time passing the donuts out and telling everyone that will listen about The Salvation Army and our donut history.”
In Hartford, Salvation Army Officers and volunteers will be serving donuts (along with their regular fare) at the Veteran’s Home in Rocky Hill. “While we are there twice a month serving our veterans throughout the year, Donut Day is always special.”
Entenmann’s Bakery, a division of Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU), has partnered with The Salvation Army to honor those in military service. Entenmann’s will be donating almost 2,000 donuts to The Salvation Army’s participating locations in Connecticut and Rhode Island. In particular, fun festivities are planned for Bridgeport, New London, and Providence, Rhode Island.
In Bridgeport, Major Lydia Pearson is planning to deliver donuts to Mayor Finch’s office, firehouses, police mini-stations, and Homes for the Brave residences for veterans. “Each year, we try to do something a little different. It’s a fun day and gives us the opportunity to share a little bit of our history and say 'thank you' to those who serve our community.”
In New London, Salvation Army Officials will be stationed at Parade Plaza from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m., where they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of The Salvation Army and 78th anniversary of “Donut Day.” They will be serving coffee and donuts, as well as a bit of history, fun displays, and activities. They will have a supply of donuts from Entenmann’s and from Flanders Bake Shop in East Lyme.
In Providence, Rhode Island, Majors Robert and Wendy Kountz will be using the Emergency Disaster Services canteen, parking across from the Train Station to pass out special Entenmann’s donuts and coffee to early-morning commuters beginning at 6:30 a.m.
Donuts and Donut Day have helped establish the donut as a long-standing symbol of the services The Salvation Army continues to provide. Today, The Salvation Army offers meals, including donuts, and numerous other services to clients who visit their programs daily.