The Salvation Army Celebrates National Donut Day on June 4, Supporting Those Fighting on the Front Lines of Pandemic Recovery

Jun 4, 2021 | by Stephanie Rex

Pictured From Left to Right: Jamie Hornstein (Giant Eagle Veterans Resource Group), Victoria Gill (The Salvation Army), Major Gregory Hartshorn, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army WPA, Erin Ehrlich (The Salvation Army), Valerie McGregor (Giant Eagle Veterans Resource Group), and Donald Koenig, Director of VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System


Friday, June 4, 2021 (PITTSBURGH, Pa.) -- The Salvation Army Western PA Division celebrates National Donut Day today with the delivery of a generous donation of 35 dozen donuts provided by Giant Eagle to the health care workers and veterans at VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System’s H.J. Heinz III campus near Aspinwall.

Giant Eagle’s Veterans Resource Group Volunteers assisted in the delivery today, helping The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services staff and Major Gregory Hartshorn, Divisional Commander, in unloading the boxes of treats onsite.

“We are blessed to make life a little sweeter today for those who have served our country, and for those working on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Major Hartshorn. “It’s truly an honor to carry on the legacy of our ‘donut lassies,’ who made such a difference with simple acts of kindness for those serving during World War I.”

Today’s delivery at the VA carries on The Salvation Army’s legacy of “donut lassies” who served soldiers in France fighting on the front lines of WW1, lending comfort and food in their greatest time of need. National Donut Day extends that legacy of giving to present challenges, as Giant Eagle provides a sweet and delicious morale boost not only for those fighting on the front lines of the ongoing pandemic, but those who have served our country. 

“We are grateful that The Salvation Army chose our health care warriors and the American heroes they serve to recognize in celebration of National Donut Day 2021,” said David Difuccia, VA program leader, voluntary services and recreation therapy. “As we continue to work towards getting our communities vaccinated and protecting all those we serve in our facilities, we genuinely appreciate the community's support.”

National Donut Day was originally established to honor The Salvation Army's work to serve soldiers in France during World War I. Nearly 250 volunteers traveled overseas to provide emotional and spiritual support, baked goods, clothes and supplies to troops. The “donut lassies” fried donuts in a small pan to boost morale of U.S. soldiers and are credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when troops returned home from war.

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, log on to  The Salvation Army … doing the most good for the most people in the most need.

About VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System 

VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System (VAPHS) is one of the largest and most progressive VA health care systems in the nation. More than 4,000 employees serve nearly 80,000 veterans every year, providing a range of services from complex transplant medicine to routine primary care. VAPHS is a leader in virtual care delivery through telehealth technology; a center of research and learning with 118 research investigators and $13.2 million in funding; and a provider of state-of-the-art health care training to some 1,500 student trainees annually. VAPHS provides care at medical centers in Oakland and O’Hara Township in Pennsylvania and five outpatient clinics in Belmont County, Ohio, and Beaver, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland counties in Pennsylvania. Veterans can call 412-360-6162 to check eligibility or enrollment. Stay up to date at and


Stephanie Rex, Director of Marketing and Public Relations

The Salvation Army Western Pennsylvania Division

Email  |  Office: (412) 446-1642  |  Cell: (412) 463-2942

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