Are you ready to celebrate National Donut Day?


Celebrate National Donut Day
Celebrate National Donut Day!

Our friends at Entenmann’s Bakery, famous for the Rich Frosted Donut, are donating $1 to The Salvation Army for every person who “likes” Entenmann’s Facebook page – up to $30,000 – until June 15!

Matt Adolfson: A Veteran Story

Craig Dirkes is a public relations writer and photographer for The Salvation Army Northern Division. Click here to learn more or find them on Facebook by visiting Editor’s note: This story highlights The Salvation Army’s service to military men and women. It is being told in celebration of National Donut Day, which took place Friday, June 7.

Matt Adolfson was flying somewhere over Germany on March 17, 2003, when President George W. Bush gave Saddam Hussein an ultimatum: leave Iraq within 48 hours or face U.S. military action.

Matt, then a 25-year-old U.S. Army medic, heard the news when he landed in Kuwait. Two days later, he was at war.

Matt would spend the next eight months using every bit of his medical training.

“I was part of a mobile hospital – like what you see on the TV show M*A*S*H, only smaller,” he said. “I helped a lot of people who were in explosions; one guy had his leg blown off. My nerves were always going crazy. Everything was always happening fast, fast, fast.”

Back Home, New Battle

Matt’s tour ended that November. In August 2004, he completed his military career and moved to Michigan to live with his uncle; his parents had died years earlier and he has no siblings. Civilian life was difficult.

“I always felt hyper-vigilant, like I wasn’t doing enough,” Matt said. “In the military, I was doing more in one day than some people do all week.”

In 2007, Matt began suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Seemingly innocuous sounds, sights and smells triggered terrible memories.

“The smell of burning garbage, seeing a military vehicle – it all brought me right back,” said Matt, who is doing much better today after years of counseling. “At first I tried forcing myself to forget, but that didn’t work. I learned to embrace my past and not run from it. I learned to get used to things and adapt.”

Matt eventually moved to Minnesota to be near his other relatives and work his way through college. The war changed him, but he remains proud to have served his country.

Salvation Army support

In 2012, Matt had to adapt to another hardship: an empty bank account. While working that summer, several of his paychecks were delayed due to an administrative blunder. He fell behind on his bills and couldn’t recover. By November, he was facing eviction from his North St. Paul apartment.

Thankfully, a friend told him about The Salvation Army Veteran’s Homeless Prevention Program. Since 2011, the program has provided financial assistance, case management, referrals and much more to nearly 180 veterans or veteran families in Ramsey County.

“Veterans have risked their lives serving us – giving back to them is our duty,” said Lt. Col. Robert Thomson, Salvation Army Northern Division Commander.

Matt met with Salvation Army case manager Krystle Englund, who gave him financial assistance to catch up on his rent.

“She even called my landlord to advocate for me,” Matt said. “I’m not used to asking for help; I’m the kind of person who would rather bite the bullet. Krystle took away all my anxiety.”

Matt is no longer in danger of being evicted, and his life is looking pretty good. After completing his associate’s degree in 2011, he plans to study for a bachelor’s degree in social work – a field he’s been inspired to pursue because of the help Krystle gave him. The lifelong volunteer also wants to start donating his time to The Salvation Army – particularly at its food shelf in Maplewood.

“Matt is a very strong individual who served his country and still wants to give back by volunteering,” Krystle said. “He is always optimistic for the future. Working with veterans like Matt is the best part of my job, hands down.”

The Salvation Army operates a similar veterans program in North Dakota that covers the entire state. In addition, The Salvation Army operates a number of veteran housing programs throughout Minnesota, including a 10-unit apartment complex in South Minneapolis.

“The Salvation Army is committed to serving veterans – helping them is a privilege,” Thomson said.

Friday is National Donut Day: Celebrate With Us Today & Tomorrow!

Friday, June 7 is the 76th annual National Donut Day, a holey day for sweets lovers and an essential holiday for The Salvation Army.

Started as a fundraiser by The Salvation Army in Chicago during the Great Depression, National Donut Day honors our military veterans and commemorates the work of Salvation Army volunteers who used the tasty confection to comfort American soldiers in France and Germany during World War I.

These female volunteers, earning the nickname “Doughnut Lassies” and “Doughtnut Girls,” fried the donuts in solders’ helmets, and served countless treats to grateful troops. The donut has since been a long-standing symbol of the services and comfort The Salvation Army provides. To this day, The Army continues to provide comfort with coffee and donuts to survivors and emergency responders who need support on the scene of disaster.

In celebration of the year’s sweetest holiday, our friends at Entenmann’s Bakery, famous for the Rich Frosted Donut, are donating $1 to The Salvation Army for every person who “likes” the Entenmann’s Facebook page (find it here: – up to $30,000 – until June 15!

In advance of the big day, we invite you to Madison Square Park in New York City TODAY from 12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. for a special National Donut Day celebration with Entenmann’s and The Salvation Army. If you’re in the area, stop by for goodies, surprises and special guests. And make sure to join in the conversation with us on Twitter as we share pictures using #NationalDonutDay.

You can also celebrate with us on Friday by stopping by one of these participating donut stops for some deals:

  • On the West Coast, more than 1,000 of the independent shops who use BakeMark baking supplies – a national baking supply company – will have this poster in their window. Every donut you buy on June 7, 2013 from one of their shops will help The Salvation Army serve veterans through a generous donation from BakeMark. Yes, eating donuts can be an act of patriotism.
  • Krispy Kreme is offering a free donut to everyone on Friday with no purchase necessary.
  • Dunkin Donuts will offer a free donut with the purchase of a beverage on Friday.
  • LaMar’s Donuts is giving away free donuts Friday with no purchase necessary, and a portion of this week’s sales are being donated to The Salvation Army.
  • Tim Hortons is offering a free donut with any purchase on Friday if you print this Facebook coupon.
  • Or make your own with the original doughnut recipe used by Salvation Army Doughnut Lassies!

However you choose to celebrate, we wish you a Happy #NationalDonutDay!