MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — Friday is National Donut Day, and to commemorate the date, the Salvation Army handed out free donuts and coffee aboard the USS Alabama.
A sweet treat and a history lesson. “We just want to give back a little bit of history,” said Major Thomas Richmond, the Area Commander of Salvation Army Coastal Alabama.
Back in World War One, Donut Lassies were female Salvation Army volunteers. They were sent to help the troops on the front lines.
“The General of the Salvation Army at the time said go over and mother the troops, so they sent our people over. We set up weigh stations throughout the front lines, and we started serving and making donuts, because well, they needed a little bit of home,” said Major Richmond.
The dough was fried only seven at a time in the soldier’s helmets.
Janet Cobb, the executive director of Battleship Memorial Park says two of her great uncles fought in the Great War.
“Both from Alabama, one was killed there. I’d like to think that at some time, they both had a cup full of coffee, and a hot donut straight out of a fryer during that time,” said Cobb.
National Donut Day was started in 1938 by the Salvation Army, to help the needy during the Great Depression, and recognize the work of the Donut Lassies during WWI.
For the Coastal Alabama Salvation Army, it is also a time to remind the Gulf Coast, they’re not going anywhere.
“We want to be sure the folks know the Salvation Army is still going to be here, the Salvation Army is not going to fold up and leave,” said Major Richmond.
National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of every June.