The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Celebrates National Donut Day

May 25, 2022 | by Nicole Harrell

PITTSBURGH (May 25, 2022) - National Donut Day is celebrated each year on the first Friday of June, but many people may be surprised to learn the origins of this sweet holiday. The Salvation Army established National Donut Day in 1938 to honor The Salvation Army’s “Donut Lassies,” who made history when they risked their lives to raise spirits and fuel hope by serving thousands of soldiers during WWI, in part by delivering donuts and other sweet treats to those in the war.

The Salvation Army is celebrating National Donut Day on Friday, June 3, across the country.  In Pittsburgh, The Salvation Army Western PA Division will deliver 35 dozen donuts, generously provided by Giant Eagle, to veterans at the VA. Divisional Commander Major Gregory Hartshorn, The Salvation Army Western PA Division’s Emergency Disaster Services and Giant Eagle Veterans Business Resource Group Members will be on hand to drop off donuts beginning at 10 a.m. at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, located in Aspinwall on Delafield Road

Participating Giant Eagle stores will also be running a special on a dozen donuts for $4.99 with the Giant Eagle Advantage Card. A portion of all proceeds will be donated to The Salvation Army.

In 1917, Salvation Army women volunteers traveled to France and set up makeshift huts on the front lines, where they provided essential goods and sweet treats to boost morale. The donut was then, and continues to be, a taste of home and a symbol of comfort for Americans. More than a hundred years later, The Salvation Army is still serving on the frontlines, now through a wide range of social services for America’s most vulnerable individuals and families.

“This National Donut Day, as the country celebrates with a sweet treat, we are proud to remember that this tradition started with our very own women volunteers more than a hundred years ago,” Major Gregory Hartshorn, Divisional Commander, The Salvation Army Western PA Division said. “For us, the donut is a symbol of hope that The Salvation Army provides to those in need. We are honored to present this sweet treat as a small token of appreciation for those who have dedicated their lives to serving our nation. None of this would be possible without the generosity of our partner Giant Eagle."

Celebrating over 150 years of global service as both a church and a social service organization, The Salvation Army began in London, England in 1865. Today, it provides critical services in 132 countries worldwide. The 28-county Western Pennsylvania Division serves thousands of needy families through a wide variety of support services. To learn more about The Salvation Army in Western Pennsylvania, visit  The Salvation Army … doing the most good for the most people in the most need.


Nicole Harrell, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division

Email  |  Office: (412) 446-1642  |  Cell: (757) 619-6984

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