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PHOTOS: Heavenly Donut Company, Salvation Army celebrate National Donut Day at the VA Hospital in Birmingham

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Representatives from the Heavenly Donut Company and the Salvation Army showed up at the VA Hospital in Birmingham today to celebrate National Donut Day. Representatives from the Heavenly Donut Company and the Salvation Army showed up at the VA Hospital in Birmingham today to celebrate National Donut Day.
BIRMINGHAM, AL -

Veterans at the VA Hospital in Birmingham were surprised with sweet treats for National Donut Day.

The Salvation Army and the Heavenly Donut Company teamed up to provide donuts for veterans today at the hospital. In fact, spreading joy via donut is something that the Salvation Army has been doing for nearly 100 years.

In 1917, Salvation Army "donut lassies" brought fresh donuts to soldier serving near the front lines in France during World War I. They wanted to raise morale while the rations were so meager, and donuts were the easiest goods to transport to the front lines. The Chicago Salvation Army reports that these first donuts were fried in batches of seven at a time and were even fried inside soldiers' helmets. They are reported to have been an "instant hit." At one point, they were serving more than 300 donuts and 700 cups of coffee per day.

The holiday, celebrated on the first Friday in June, was established in 1938 by the Chicago Salvation Army to fundraise during the Great Depression and commemorate the female volunteers who worked to boost the morale of front-line soldiers. Today, the holiday is used to honor all military, veterans, and Salvation Army volunteers.

The Heavenly Donut Company has used the day as an opportunity to raise funds for the Salvation Army, as well.

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