A History of Hope: How The Salvation Army Inspired America's Sweetest Holiday
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A History of Hope: How The Salvation Army Inspired America's Sweetest Holiday
ALEXANDRIA, Va., June 4, 2024 ~ As National Donut Day approaches, the country prepares to celebrate a sweet tradition that has been around for over 85 years. This holiday, established in 1938 by The Salvation Army in Chicago, is more than just indulging in a delicious treat. It is a chance to recognize and honor the selfless volunteers who serve those most in need.

The Salvation Army, the largest nongovernmental social service provider in the country, has been at the forefront of this holiday since its inception. This year, they have teamed up with Chef Andre Rush, former White House chef and veteran, to distribute donuts and raise awareness about their veterans-focused programs on his social media platforms on June 7th. With Chef Rush's help, The Salvation Army hopes to spread hope one donut at a time and make a tangible difference in the lives of those who need it most.

In addition to this partnership, The Salvation Army has planned various events and initiatives across the country to mark this historic day. In Denver, Colorado, LaMar's Donuts will be partnering with The Salvation Army to provide donuts to the local Veterans Affairs hospital and other locations. In Dallas, Texas, The Salvation Army of North Texas will be distributing hundreds of donuts to patients and visitors at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center - the largest and most complex veterans' affairs facility in the nation.

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Other cities such as Bradford, Pennsylvania; Santa Clarita, California; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Traverse City, Michigan will also be hosting events and delivering donuts to first responders and military personnel as a token of appreciation for their service.

National Donut Day holds a special significance for The Salvation Army as it honors their Donut Lassies - volunteers who traveled to France in 1917 during World War I to serve donuts and other baked goods to American and allied soldiers fighting on the front lines. These brave women also provided emotional and spiritual care while repairing torn uniforms and helping soldiers write letters. The donut became a symbol of comfort and hope during one of the darkest times in these soldiers' lives.

The Salvation Army's dedication to supporting troops continued beyond World War I and became a steadfast tradition in subsequent conflicts. In 1944, on D-Day, Allied troops stormed Normandy Beach, marking the beginning of the end of the Nazi regime. The Salvation Army was there to provide comfort and care to U.S. troops as they fought their way into Nazi Germany. They also supplied essential items such as coffee, donuts, chewing gum, soap, toothpaste, and sewing kits. Even after Hitler surrendered, The Salvation Army volunteers remained in Germany for another year to provide relief to all those affected by the war.

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Today, The Salvation Army continues to provide support and counseling to active duty and veteran troops while delivering essential services to nearly 24 million people in America who are fighting poverty, addiction, and economic hardships. Through their 7,000 centers of operation across the country, they offer a wide range of social services tailored to the specific needs of each community - from providing food and clothing to emergency disaster relief and rehabilitation services.

Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, national commander of The Salvation Army, invites everyone to join them in celebrating the 86th National Donut Day and paying tribute to the incredible legacy of the Donut Lassies. He believes that their dedication and compassion perfectly illustrate what The Salvation Army stands for and continue to inspire their entire community even today.

For more information about National Donut Day or to download the Donut Lassies' original recipe, visit https://www.salvationarmyusa.org/usn/national-d.... Let us all come together on June 7th to celebrate this sweet holiday with a deeper understanding of its history and significance.
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