Salvation Army marks National Donut Day

Swing by Republic Square Park between 10am-1pm

June 07, 2019 - 7:52 am

AUSTIN ( -- National Donut Day is here, and the Salvation Army Austin is celebrating one of the organization's oldest traditions today.

You can swing by Republic Square Park at 422 Guadalupe Street from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. for free donuts, swag, and coffee. Family-friendly fun will include face painting, balloon art, and a donut-themed obstacle course.

National Donut Day, celebrated each year on the first Friday of June, traces its origins to 1938 - and back to World War I and the Salvation Army Lassies.

“We look forward to this event every year because it is an opportunity to tell the Austin community about The Salvation Army’s sweet donut history,” said Major Andrew Kelly, The Salvation Army’s Area Metropolitan Commander. “This day is also important because we recognize and remember the brave men and women who served and are still serving for our country.”

American Salvation Army Lassies set sail for France on August 12, 1917, determined to bring comfort to the soldiers manning the rain-soaked trenches of “No Man’s Land.” Setting up huts and tents, the young women held services, wrote letters, sewed buttons, and brewed coffee; all reminding the young men of their homes across the ocean. A group of soldiers requested donuts, having no supplies the Lassies promised they would make them if the men could find the supplies. The men built a stove of mud and stone, the next day the Lassies baked the first batch of donuts from 18 pounds of flour, nine pounds of sugar, six cans of milk, six cans of water, a pound of baking powder and a tablespoon each of vanilla, lemon and mace. That small first batch soon grew to 5,000 donuts a day.

According to one historian, many Lassies crawled through the trenches with boxes of warm donuts and pots of hot coffee, whispering “Hi soldier. Have some coffee and sinkers.” The Lassies would pray with the soldiers there in the trenches, reassuring many frightened young men. More than 1500 young Salvationists served on the French, Italian, and Russian war fronts; over 500 of them came from the United States.

For more details on the Salvation Army Austin, visit

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