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Today Is National Donut Day, and You Can Thank the Salvation Army for That


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Today, Friday, June 2 is the 85th annual celebration of National Donut Day.  And even though most of us don't need a reason to enjoy a donut, there are deals to be had on donuts from retail chains around the country. 

National Donut Day or National Doughnut Day was started in 1938 during The Great Depression in Chicago, Illinois by The Salvation Army.  It was created as a fundraiser with two goals – to help those in need and to honor the Christian ministry's "Donut Lassies" who traveled to France during World War 1 to serve donuts and other refreshments to American soldiers. 

More than 250 Salvation Army volunteers went to France, according to the Salvation Army.

The donuts prepared by the Salvation Army's volunteers are reported to have been an "instant hit" with thousands of soldiers as many of them visited the ministry's "huts" to grab some baked goods, writing materials, and other frontline essentials. 

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Salvation Army Ensign Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day: "Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee."

Want to make a tasty donut just like the Salvation Army? Click here to see the original donut recipe from World War 1.  And remember to invite your friends over when you make them. The recipe will make 60 donuts. 

If you don't have time to make your own, here's how you can snag a free donut TODAY at several retail donut makers while supplies last. 

  • Participating Dunkin' stores across the country are offering customers a free classic donut of their choice with the purchase of a beverage.
  • Lamar's Donuts is handing out free glazed donuts and free t-shirts to some customers.  
  • Krispy Kreme locations are offering a free donut of any kind on their menu. No purchase is necessary. In addition, buy a dozen donuts and get a dozen glazed donuts for $2. 
  • Duck Donuts is also giving away a free cinnamon sugar donut in all of its stores. No purchase is necessary. 
  • Shipley Do-Nuts was giving its customers one free glazed donut with a purchase online or in-store from 5 a.m.-12 p.m.

Other Donut or Doughnut Deals

  • Honey Dew Donuts is giving away a free donut with a beverage purchase. 
  • The Dapper Donut has a special deal from June 2-4. You can get six free cinnamon sugar or powdered sugar donuts with any purchase.  The offer is valid with any priced item. Note: Dappers' online deal can be made with a $5 minimum purchase. 
  • Casey's General Stores has a buy-one-get-one-free donut deal for its reward members. But the sweetness continues throughout the month of June. On Tuesdays, you can get two regular donuts for $2 or two premium donuts for $3. On Saturdays, get half a dozen donuts for $4.49. 

Be sure to check other local donut shops in your area for other National Donut Day deals on their social media pages or websites. 

Social media was filled with many fun images celebrating National Donut Day. But one post by a group of Kansas City Chiefs fans owned the day. 

The Kingdom Crew (named after the Chiefs' Kingdom) tweeted photos of some of their favorite Chiefs' players carrying, holding, and throwing various donuts. 

"Wait a minute... is every day NOT National Donut Day?!?" the group wrote. 

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of