If you didn’t already know, today is Donut Day. So, before you head to work this morning stop at the store and grab a donut for yourself and a few to share with your co-workers!

Did you know that the Salvation Army started Donut Day during WWI? It's true! And, it's something they've been celebrating for 80 years.

The tradition actually started during the Great Depression to raise money for the nonprofit and to honor women who made donuts for soldiers during World War I.

A group of about six women known as “Donut Lassies” were the first people from the Salvation Army to make donuts for American soldiers stationed in France. The women would make the deep fried treat on the front lines.Once word spread of the women’s efforts, returning soldiers started being referred to as “doughboys.”

The female volunteers had very limited resources in 1917. They made the donuts with flour, sugar, cinnamon and lard. The pastries were fried in pans that could make just seven at a time. Sometimes the women would fry the donuts in the soldiers’ helmets if pans were not available.

To honor the “Donut Lassies” the Salvation Army started National Donut Day. On the first Friday in June the organization partners with local grocery stores nation wide to sell donuts. The treats are specially marked with the Salvation Army’s logo.

(Source: Ashli Overlund, WJON 2014)

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