Incredible war stories underscore importance of National Donut Day


National Donut Day is on the first Friday of June, when people across the country indulge in long Johns, apple fritters, and other delicious pastries. However, this day is about more than just enjoying donuts. The Salvation Army established National Donut Day in 1938 to honor the “Donut Girls” – female Salvation Army volunteers who served American soldiers on the frontlines of war.

The Sweet Life at CraneWerks

National Donut Day holds a special place in the heart of CraneWerks. It’s a day when we come together as a team to celebrate not just our love for delicious donuts, but also the camaraderie and shared moments that define our workplace culture. At CraneWerks, we value hard work, dedication, and the simple joys that make life sweet. National Donut Day gives us an opportunity to show appreciation for our employees, reflecting the spirit of generosity and support that The Salvation Army’s Donut Girls embodied. It’s a reminder of how small gestures can make a big impact, reinforcing our commitment to fostering a positive and supportive environment for our hardworking team.

The Origin of Donut Day

The Donut Girls made a significant impact on the lives of many soldiers, including Louis Maravelas from Minnesota (pictured with his wife, Stella). As a U.S. Marine Corps veteran, Louis never forgot the Donut Girls and their kindness to him and his battalion on Christmas Day during World War II.

On that morning, Louis and his battalion were on a beach near Australia, preparing to advance against Japanese forces. They aimed to push back the first line of defense, return to shore, and circle the island to flank the Japanese artillery. After a fierce battle, Louis survived and returned to the beach amidst the chaos, where he heard a woman’s voice offering coffee.

“Hey, Yank! Do you want a cup of coffee?”

It was a Salvation Army Donut Girl, providing coffee and donuts to the soldiers.

Establishing the Donut Girls

The Donut Girls began their volunteer work during World War I, making and serving thousands of donuts daily to U.S. troops. They also provided prayers, helped soldiers write letters, mended their clothes, and more. These women were later credited with popularizing donuts in the U.S. after the troops, nicknamed “doughboys,” returned home from war.

Louis cherished that moment for the rest of his life until he passed away in 2007. He remembered the Donut Girls’ gesture as a thank you to the Marines for protecting Australia on Christmas morning. Louis supported The Salvation Army for over fifty years, a legacy continued by his granddaughter, Lisa Harold.

The Lives they Serve

Lisa recounts how her grandfather often shared this story with his family, emphasizing the special place the Donut Girls held in his heart. He encouraged his family to support The Salvation Army as well.

Many other veterans also share stories of how The Salvation Army helped them during times of war or disaster. Earlier this year, a Vietnam veteran told Heidi, a social worker, about how The Salvation Army aided him during the Vietnam War, bringing tears to his eyes.

Another Vietnam veteran shared a story with Wendy, a donor relations representative, about a moment in Mississippi after Hurricane Camille in 1969. The devastated area had been without essentials for days, and the first plane to arrive with relief supplies was from The Salvation Army. This man has never forgotten the help he received.

These stories highlight the enduring impact of The Salvation Army and its volunteers, like the Donut Girls, on the lives of those they serve.

Ready to make a difference this National Donut Day?

CraneWerks  is proud to support The Salvation Army and their incredible legacy of service and advocacy.

Join us in celebrating by learning more about how you can contribute to this worthy cause. Let’s work together to honor the spirit of the Donut Girls, uplift our community, and make a positive impact. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to give back and make a difference – reach out to CraneWerks today!

For more information on CraneWerks’ advocacy:

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