Salvation Army to celebrate National Donut Day on Friday

Salvation Army postcards show the history of American Salvation Army "lassies" providing fresh donuts to troops on the front lines during World War I, the basis for this Friday's National Donut Day celebration. (Provided photos)

ENID, Okla. — Salvation Army of Enid will be celebrating National Doughnut Day with free donuts for the community on Friday, recalling a tradition that goes back to the trenches of the Western Front in the First World War.

"When most people hear of National Doughnut Day, they just think of a doughnut, but the true story of it is the work the Salvation Army did in the war," said Victor Estudiante, corps assistant at Salvation Army of Enid.

Estudiante said the holiday traces its roots to Salvation Army "lassies" — women in the Salvation Army who volunteered to serve on the Western Front — who cooked and served doughnuts to troops on the front lines.

They cooked doughnuts, according to a Salvation Army press release, because most of the supplies needed to cook any other "tastes of home" were no longer available on the front.

Since then, National Doughnut Day has served as a reminder of the Salvation Army's mission to provide aid in 129 countries and to more than 25 million people in America each year.

Estudiante said the Salvation Army partners with several large doughnut chains across the country to celebrate National Doughnut Day. In Enid, Salvation Army volunteers will be serving doughnuts provided by Dandy's Donuts.

Anyone who mentions Salvation Army Doughnut Day at Dandy's Donuts, 2510 W. Chestnut, 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, will receive a free glazed doughnut, courtesy of Dandy's, Estudiante said.

Salvation Army volunteers will be inside Dandy's during those hours, Estudiante said, sharing information about Salvation Army and its work in the community, and will be serving doughnuts on the downtown square during First Friday festivities Friday evening.

Thirty dozen doughnuts also will be delivered to local first responders and to community organizations that have supported Salvation Army over the last year.

Estudiante said Doughnut Day is not a day for Salvation Army to raise funds, but just a day to "spread the word and share some happiness."

"It's about sharing some history and some fun with our community," he said.

It's a day to draw on history while being flexible enough to respond to current and future needs in the community, Estudiante said.

"We want to be inspired by our predecessors and their ingenuity," he said, "and we want to be creative about meeting the need here locally."

For more information on Salvation Army of Enid, visit its Facebook page at

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Neal is health, military affairs and religion reporter and columnist for the Enid News & Eagle. Follow him on Twitter, @jamesnealwriter, and online at He can be reached at

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I am a retired Naval Officer and small business owner, outside of my work at the News & Eagle. My wife Tammy and I enjoy serving together at church and attending Gaslight and ESO. We have two daughters, three dogs and little free time.