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Salvation Army of Central Texas is Sharing Sweetness on National Donut Day

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Dustin Drew

Today is National Donut Day for the Salvation Army. It’s a day to celebrate those volunteers who traveled to France back in 1917 to help those soldiers fighting in World War 1.

Many of the volunteers, mainly women, would set up huts to help the soldiers with a little bit of everything, from mending broken bones to writing letters home, and even baking sweets. Those ladies became known as the donut lassies.

“Although they were heading to France to serve, their actual service began on the ship. At that time the soldiers weren’t really allowed on the deck, which sort of makes sense in many ways because you wouldn’t want them to be spotted by planes or anything.”

Diana Barrett, Public Relations Director with the Salvation Army of McLennan County, said that many of these volunteers were trained in nursing and had to be enlisted with the Army before they could head to France.

One of the volunteers, Alice McAllister, wrote a diary about her time in France called the Doughnut Sweethearts. The book talks about the time they left New York on a ship till the time they were closing down their last canteen and heading back to America.

“One of the things, as you read through the diary, so many of the things they speak about are the things that are still happening today, 105 years later, and there’s still war tearing apart these beautiful country sides that we’ve been given, and there are still people serving, even now.”

Once the war was over, the donut lassies were credited with making the donut popular in the U.S.

Today the Salvation Army will deliver donuts to the VA Center on New Road and to military and first responders.

You can get the Donut Lassies original donut recipe online at salarmy.us/DonutDay.