HELENA — The Helena Salvation Army delivered sweet treats to area first responders Friday for National Donut Day.
“We just want to recognize our first responders today and thank them for everything they do for the community,” said Helena Salvation Army Major Brian West.
The Helena Salvation Army delivered donuts to the Helena and East Helena Police Departments, the Lewis and Clark Sheriff’s Office, the Helena Fire Department and the 911 dispatch center.
The annual event commemorates the Salvation Army’s "Donut Lassies." In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during WWI. More than 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up field camps near the front lines in France where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and baked goods.
Serving baked goods was a difficult endeavor for the women considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations. Two volunteers, Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance, began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. The fried treats were popular amount the soldiers and the women earn the nickname “Donut Lassies.”
Major Brian West with the Helena Salvation Army says they’re proud to use this day to honor those women by recognizing those who work hard to keep the communities safe.
“You know we’re amazed, just the other day how they intervene in this community. It has been absolutely outstanding. So we appreciate all that they do to keep us safe,” said West.