Doughnuts and the Salvation Army

Salvation Army and the Doughnut Benefit

          The Salvation Army used the popularity of their doughnut campaign in World War I to bolster their ability to raise funds in America. Immediately following the war, the Salvation Army returned home and conducted the “Home Service Fund”. This fund was a large undertaking as it was geared to raise the sum of 13 million dollars. The money need was for expansion and advancement in every department of the Salvation Army, along with paying for and supporting charitable causes around the nation.

            At the forefront of this new “fund” was the continued use of the doughnut ministries. To even dream of asking for that large sum of money, the Salvation Army decided to sell their famous doughnuts. While selling the doughnuts, they also ministered and counseled those who bought them.
          The Salvation Army continued to show the impact of their outreach with doughnuts while celebrating the Armistice Day each year. For example, in 1925, during a parade in Shreveport, LA, the Salvation Army handed out their doughnuts along the parade route on a float marked “Salvation Army, Just a Reminder.” The doughnut from that day forward was becoming the symbol of the Army.
           Besides trying to raise funds when they returned, later on when the depression hit, the Salvation Army would hold doughnut drives to help the needy of the time. With the money collected, they would buy clothing, food, and other amenities for the family in need . They would also hold the doughnut drives near or around an area that had suffered a natural disaster. Giving proceeds to the devastated community to help the rebuilding process.
           Perhaps the most famous of the doughnut ministries came in the form of the National Doughnut day established in 1938. When this day was established it was put in to show that amazing work of the Doughnut Lassies in World War I, and the support for the needy during the depression years as well. The day, though, took on a life of its own, as every year, more and more people would celebrate the day with their own fundraising campaigns and would then donate the money to the Salvation Army. In recent years, other doughnut shops and establishments have maintained the tradition of celebrating Nation Doughnut day on the first Friday in June and giving the money raised to the local Salivation Army post.

          The Salvation Army would send female officers to nursing homes to bring cheer and joy with their old time "Doughnut Lass" outfits. This was also to bring back memories of a time gone for some of the recipients of the doughnuts. 

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