(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Beginning in 1938 in Chicago, National Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of June every year, The day is not only a celebration of the donut but of the Salvation Army’s Donut Lassies who provided hope to World War I.

According to the Salvation Army, in 1917 the Lassies were sent to France to establish field bases near the front lines. Makeshift huts in these field bases would see thousands of soldiers who would come in to stock up on essential goods and grab a sweet treat baked by the Lassies.

The Lassies are credited with popularizing the donut in the United States. During the war when it became apparent baking was going to be difficult, volunteers began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. When soldiers (commonly known as “doughboys) returned to the United States after the war they wanted donuts.

More than 100 years later, The Salvation Army in Colorado Springs is still serving veterans, and the Corps in Colorado Springs operates one of the largest and most successful Veteran Transitional Housing Programs in the state.

National Donut Day is a chance to share their story and encourage people to support their mission.