Doughnut Day Honours Volunteers Who Served on the Front Lines of War (WATCH)

Salvation Army lassie serves doughnuts to solders during World War 1
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On Friday, June 7, many communities in which The Salvation Army serves will hand out free doughnuts to honour the volunteers who, in addition to offering soldiers comfort and support on the battlefields of France in the First World War, made and gave out doughnuts.

“Distributing doughnuts is one way to remember our involvement in serving the military.”

“Throughout the Alberta region, we are handing out doughnuts to celebrate some of The Salvation Army’s history,” says Major Al Hoeft, divisional secretary for public relations and development. “Distributing doughnuts is one way to remember our involvement in serving the military. And sweet treats make people smile.”

In 1917, The Salvation Army provided spiritual and emotional support for soldiers fighting in France during the First World War. Volunteers set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and baked goods.

With few baking provisions on hand, Salvation Army lassies used ordinary bottles as rolling pins to roll dough into doughnuts for the homesick soldiers. Soon the aroma of frying them drew lengthy lines of soldiers to the hut. Before long, thousands of doughnuts were handed out daily. The soldiers referred to the women as “doughnut girls,” even when they baked apple pies or other treats and the doughnut came to symbolize loving concern for those on the front lines.

Today and every day, The Salvation Army continues to be on the front lines of crises, disaster and poverty, offering practical and emotional support. Last year, 1.7 million people were helped by The Salvation Army.