National Donut Day 2017

Happy National Donut Day!

The Salvation Army in Chicago celebrated the first National Donut Day in 1938 to help those in need during the Great Depression and to commemorate the work of the “Donut Lassies” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.

Despite discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two officers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in a small fry pan. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.

Nicknamed “Donut Lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “doughboys”) returned home from war.

The donut now serves as a symbol of the comfort that The Salvation Army provides to those in need through its many social services programs. The Salvation Army still serves donuts, in addition to warm meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.

National Donut Day occurs on the first Friday of June. This year marks one hundred years since the work of the original Donut Lassies. On Friday, June 2, shops around the country will participate in the day by giving away free donuts and supporting The Salvation Army. Supporters are encouraged to share a picture of themselves enjoying a donut using #GivingIsSweet.


Howard County Volunteer Goes The Distance

(GWYNN OAK, MD) Salvation Army volunteer Larry Pope at last year’s Feed Caravan.

Larry Pope has been volunteering for The Salvation Army Howard County Service Center & Thrift Store since Thanksgiving of 2013.

Like most people, Larry was not previously aware of the wide array of services that The Salvation Army offered to the community. After volunteering for the holiday season and seeing the various opportunities to serve, Larry has been committed to serving his neighbors in need in Ellicott City.

“I love helping people and I’m having fun,” said Larry.

Over the years, Larry served in a variety of areas including bell ringing, maintenance, food drives, youth programs, and processing in-kind donations. Larry volunteers at the Howard County thrift store,  5-6 days a week.

Every week, Larry works alongside a group of volunteers at the thrift store that process the donated goods. The volunteers clean, organize, and tag these items for customers to buy.

“We have 40 or 50 people here that give their time. Everybody is equally important and without these volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to do what we are doing.”

Apart from his service in Howard County, Larry also drove for 6 hours to aid The Salvation Army of Central Maryland in their disaster relief efforts for the historic West Virginia flooding last year.

Most recently, Larry has collected and donated a variety of toiletries for our new anti-human trafficking home, Catherine’s Cottage. He has also motivated several family members to volunteer and obtained monetary donations from his health care professionals.

Larry’s volunteer experience has been so influential, that he makes sure to visit the local Salvation Army headquarters every time he goes on vacation, including London and Paris!


FeedMore Instruments of Hope

Lily and Joe Chang prepare up to 175 sandwiches every month for the homeless.

FeedMore provides meals, blankets, and toiletries to the homeless in Baltimore, six nights a week.

Since 1983, hundreds of volunteers have served food for this program, including Lily and Joe Chang.

Originally from Taiwan, Lily and Joe, have been volunteering since 2000.

Once a month, Lily and Joe prepare 100-175 sandwiches for the homeless and  serve them along the FeedMore route and to homeless shelters.

On occasion, they order Chinese food and donate up to 200 carryout food boxes to the homeless.

Lily and Joe also donate socks, deodorant, and underwear to fill the gap of need for the homeless.

Joe described their volunteer experience as “impressive and emotional.” Joe was driven to tears a few times after seeing children, waiting in line to get food.

 “[Food recipients] are not lazy. They could be facing a period of hardship such as losing their home, or a failed business. Anyone can face hardship in their lifetime and when they need help, we are here,” said Joe.

Over the last 17 years, Lily and Joe have recruited several friends and relatives, including their youngest, Jeffery, to volunteer for FeedMore. They have since recruited enough volunteers to cover two Saturdays of every month.

For their dedicated service to our community, Mr. and Mrs. Chang received the Ultimate Volunteer Award this year.

Sign up today to help us feed the hungry in our community!


(BALTIMORE, MD) At this year’s Compassion in Action Gala, Lily and Joe Chang received the Ultimate Volunteer Award for their dedication to FeedMore.


Edward Wilson – From Victim To Volunteer

“The Salvation Army took us under their wing and took care of us so now I’m here as a part of this family to take someone else under our wing,” Edward Wilson.

Edward Wilson is a former Salvation Army client who had lost everything. Read Wilson’s story and how he became our most dedicated volunteer in Carroll County below:

On December 4, 2006, my family and I celebrated my granddaughter’s 6th birthday. I was living with my wife, my 2 children, and 3 grand kids. Two days later, at 5:00 AM, our house caught on fire. We lost everything.

An agency referred me to The Salvation Army in Carroll County to get help. I didn’t even know what The Salvation Army was. All I knew about them was the bell. But I found out that they were much more than that.

They helped us with everything. They gave us food, Christmas gifts for my grand kids, and they helped get my family into a hotel for a few days. With their connections, we got another house. They helped us pay off old electric bills. I was overwhelmed with all they did for us.

A lot of people don’t ask for help because they think everyone will look down on them. But The Salvation Army made us home and they made us family. I’ve been volunteering here ever since.

Anytime The Salvation Army calls me asking for volunteers, I’m there. I help with food drives, clean up, whatever they need. And if I haven’t heard from them in a while, I’ll just show up.

You know The Salvation Army didn’t call me when I lost my house…they showed up. And they took care of me. So that’s what I do. I show up and take care of them.

The Salvation Army has showed me that regardless of where you come from, there is someone that will help you. Now I get to give to people what the Salvation Army gave me…and that’s hope.