Salvation Army Commemorates 73rd National Doughnut Day—Activities Across the Country Encourage Americans to Help Their Neighbors in Need

(Alexandria, VA) June 3, 2011 – The Salvation Army is hosting multiple events nationwide to celebrate the 73rd annual National Doughnut Day. With a variety of programs, including free doughnut giveaways and national partnerships, the Army hopes to raise awareness of the continued need for Americans to support their fellow neighbor.

“Every year on National Doughnut Day, The Salvation Army asks the public to remember those less fortunate who struggle to make ends meet. The need is even greater now when so many are recovering from the tragic storms throughout the United States,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations and Development Secretary for The Salvation Army. “So we ask everyone who enjoys a tasty doughnut today, to take a minute and consider ways to give back in their community.”

The first National Doughnut Day was celebrated by The Salvation Army in Chicago in 1938 to help raise needed funds during the Great Depression and commemorate the work of the “doughnut lassies” who helped make the doughnut what it is today by feeding the tasty confection to American soldiers. Among those honored were Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance who came up with the idea of frying doughnuts in soldiers’ helmets near the front lines as a quick treat. The doughnuts became synonymous with The Salvation Army, as well as the American soldiers who were returning home with the nickname, “doughboys.”

Since that time, the first Friday in June has marked an important date in American food history and helps raise awareness for the critical services that The Salvation Army provides to 30 million Americans in need each year.

For its national celebration, The Salvation Army partnered with baked goods manufacturer, Entenmann’s, which reached their goal of donating $10,000 to The Salvation Army — $1 for every person who LIKED their Facebook page through June 3. In addition, supporters of The Salvation Army and Entenmann’s can text the word “DONUT” to 80888 to make a $10 donation to the Army.

The Salvation Army is celebrating National Doughnut Day with a variety of events and partnerships around the country, including but not limited to:

• Augusta, ME: The Salvation Army will offer free doughnuts and coffee between 7a.m. and 10a.m. at the Tim Hortons on Western Avenue.
• Chicago, IL: Community members can help The Salvation Army “Erase Hunger” on June 3rd and 4th. Fundraisers will be on the streets handing out commemorative Doughnut Day tags to donors to help support feeding programs for children, seniors, the homeless and families in need. Local celebrities will be participating in events and providing entertainment at the James R. Thompson Center on June 3rd from 11a.m. – 1p.m.
• Hampton, VA: The Salvation Army and Krispy Kreme are partnering to provide doughnuts to Salvation Army clients, including members of senior programs.
• Los Angeles, CA: BakeMark will make a $10,000 donation to support The Salvation Army’s Haven Shelter in West Los Angeles. The Salvation Army will also provide free doughnuts and coffee to veterans at the Haven served by volunteers in “Lassie” uniforms.
• Phoenix, AZ: Community members who donate gently used items to a Salvation Army Family Store on June 3rd will receive a free Dunkin’s Donut and a coupon for a free dozen Dunkin’ Donuts.

“No matter one’s age – young or old – everyone loves doughnuts,” said Major Hood. “Doughnuts have been America’s sweet treat for years, and they help represent the critical services The Salvation Army provides to America’s neediest.”

In addition to clothing, shelter and financial assistance, The Salvation Army provides some 64 million meals, including doughnuts, to millions of Americans each year. Even during a disaster, such as a hurricane, earthquake or flood, the Army provides coffee and doughnuts to survivors and emergency responders who need support during a critical time. More information about National Doughnut Day and The Salvation Army’s service programs in more than 5,000 areas nationwide is available online at www.salvationarmyusa.org.