national doughnut donut day

On the first Friday in June, Americans celebrate the goodness that is donuts. But did you know that National Donut Day actually has its roots in doing good?

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 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 pan. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.

Donut Lassie Girl WWI 3


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 is held annually on the first Friday in June, and The Salvation Army celebrates the work of the original Donut Lassies by delivering donuts to those in need and to donut lovers across the country.

The original recipe from the front lines:


  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 5 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 tablespoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 tub lard


  • Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.
  • Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick.
  • Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the donuts gradually. Turn the donuts slowly several times.
  • When browned, remove donuts and allow excess fat to drip off.
  • Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy!

BREAKTHROUGH is based on the incredible true story of one mother’s unfaltering love in the face of impossible odds. When Joyce Smith’s 14-year-old adopted son John falls through an icy Missouri lake, all hope seems lost. But as he lies lifeless, Joyce refuses to give up. Her steadfast belief inspires people around her to pray for John’s recovery—even in the face of every case history and scientific prediction.

From Producer DeVon Franklin (MIRACLES FROM HEAVEN) and executive producers, Pastor Sammy Rodriguez and Stephen “Steph” Curry, and adapted for the screen by Grant Nieporte (SEVEN POUNDS) and from Joyce Smith’s own book, BREAKTHROUGH is an enthralling reminder that faith and love can create a mountain of hope, and sometimes even a miracle.

DeVon Franklin, Pastor Jason Noble, and John Smith recently sat down with The Salvation Army to talk about the movie, their ministries, and building deep relationships through faith in Christ.

John, how did this event influence your relationship with Pastor Jason?

John SmithI actually didn’t know Pastor Jason; we had never formally met. He was new at the church and had only been there for three months. But when the accident happened, he stuck by my family’s side and by my side. There were moments when I knew he was called to mentor me and ever since then, he’s been doing a great job of it. It’s just been a growing brotherhood throughout all of this.

Pastor Jason, what surprised you about this event and the way it has affected your ministry?

Pastor Jason Noble: Afterward, we had 150 healing miracles in our church. God just started us on fire. This crisis has brought families, church members, and communities together. Since last February, we’ve been going full–time on the film.

The movie is absolutely mesmerizing. How does it match what really happened?

John: That person Marcel Ruiz portrayed is what I went through. It was really accurate. From the point of the crisis to everything else, what he portrayed was true.

Pastor Jason: We’re thankful for DeVon. He told us from the beginning that we were going to do the best we can to maintain the integrity of the story and that’s exactly what happened. The timeframe may have been a little different, or in a different context.

The movie shows Joyce and I had a tense relationship, but we really never had an argument. Those were composite characters designed to show what we were facing as a 90-year-old Assemblies of God church with a 39-year-old pastor coming in and trying to change things around. At the end of the movie, a teacher says to John, “My husband died, but you lived. Why?” Some people say, that didn’t happen, but it actually did.

DeVon, your work as a studio executive, Christian author, and now movie producer has most recently included live clips of you praying on social media. How has this influenced your ministry?

DeVon: In the movie, you see Joyce Smith go into that emergency room and she prays and her son, John, comes back to life. She demonstrates the power of prayer. Throughout the whole experience, prayer is an integral part of John’s recovery. We portray that in the film.

So, organically and ironically, as I’ve been praying for people through Instagram, Facebook, and other social media, the response has been unbelievable. Since the beginning of the year, I’ve gained more than 100,000 followers. A lot of it has to do with the power of prayer.

I’m not saying this as a judgment, but so often our prayers are self-centered. So much of social media is “me, me, me” or “selfie, selfie, selfie.” But my prayers are about other people, rather than about me. I think people are deeply moved by that because so few people in their lives are concerned about them, are praying for them, and praying over them. I think that is where I’ve seen the power of prayer and social media come together. It wasn’t intentional. It’s just something that started organically. I’m just so grateful. In many ways, I’m subconsciously inspired by Joyce because she is a praying mother—every time I’m around her, she prays!

John, when you realized that the whole church and community was praying for you, how did you react?

John:I was in awe because, at that time, people were seeing Missouri in two lights; as a destructive light, and as a beacon of hope. The Michael Brown tragedy in Ferguson, Mo., was happening around the same time Breakthrough was taking place. So, they saw the destruction in Ferguson, but they also saw the hope coming from St. Louis. Families came together to pray for me; all of St. Louis came together with open arms, praying for me. From churches to schools to everybody in this community, people were praying for me.

During that time, I was struggling with thoughts like, what if I don’t get all my strength back? What if I’m not 100 percent anymore? But having St. Louis, my church, and my family pray for me and tell me it’s going to be okay, and walk with me through that, made the difference.

If there was anything else you’d want in this movie, what would it be?

John: I think DeVon captured the key points that needed to be told to make this story complete and to make BREAKTHROUGH what it is today—and that’s family. Within the film, you see everybody experience their individual breakthroughs: from my mom to me to Tommy to everyone. I think that’s so important because, if I would have seen heaven, it would have been just about me. But the story is about everybody’s individual story within the story—their own breakthrough. That’s what you see, and I think that’s what’s truly amazing throughout the film.

It’s interesting how in a breakthrough, something or someone has to be broken.

Pastor Jason: That’s the hardest part of it. Everyone wants a miracle, but to get to one is hard. There has to be something you need a miracle for. All the stuff God took Joyce through really happened. A month into my pastorate, we had a long conversation.

What would be your advice to a young pastor coming into a church?

Pastor Jason: I would have more advice for the congregation: give him grace, take time to know him, give him the benefit of the doubt, and give him a clean slate. Churches have many expectations, but the reality is if we don’t replace the pastors who are retiring with young pastors, who do we have? So, back him up 100 percent and give him grace—be his cheerleader!

John, how do you think this event will impact your future?

John: I don’t know my future, but I do know that God has a great plan for my life. He’s brought amazing people into it, from Pastor Jason to Pastor Sammy Rodriguez to President Scott Hagen to DeVon Franklin. He’s brought all of these great mentors into my life. We’ve been building relationships, building a brotherhood, and building a family. They’re going to walk me through this because God has brought me here for a reason.

So, is college your next step?

John: Yes, I’ve met Scott Hagen, president of North Central, a Christian university in downtown Minneapolis, Minn. That’s where I’ll be attending this fall to study to pursue life as a pastor.

DeVon, what do you want people to take away from this film?

DeVon: It releases April 17 all across the world and in time for Easter. We’re excited to see what God wants to do. My hope is that their faith will increase and that they’ll tell people about it. I want them to walk out of the theater saying, “you gotta go see BREAKTHROUGH! It was amazing and here’s why.” We, as producers of the film, have done all we can. It’s on the people now!

by Warren L. Maye

Original Article


Samantha Harris Good Dinner

Registration is now open for the 3rd Annual Doing the Most Good Dinner with Special Guest Samantha Harris!

For the past two years, the Doing the Most Good Dinner has raised much-needed funds for The Salvation Army’s programs and services.

This year’s event will be held on May 12 at the beautiful Sandpearl Resort on Clearwater Beach. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. following a special VIP Reception for sponsors at the $2,500 and above levels.

Tickets are available for $150, tables are available for $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 and $25,000. Sponsorship benefits can be found on the event page at the link below.

Fore more information on the event, please click here to visit the event page, or contact Jennifer Renfroe, Donor Relations Coordinator, at 727-725-9777, ext. 105.





food sorting day

Join us for Food Sorting Day to help get cans and dry goods ready for distribution through our food pantries across Upper Pinellas County!

When: January 27, 2016, 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Where: The Salvation Army, 1521 E. Druid Road, Clearwater, FL 33765

Can’t stay all day? No problem! When you sign up, let us know when you’re available to stop by and help out… the more the merrier!

To sign up, or to request additional information, please contact:

Sarah Muñoz, Volunteer and Special Events Coordinator
Phone: 727.725.9777, ext. 104
Email: Sarah.Muñ










The Salvation Army is partnering with Bright House Networks to provide Back-to-School supplies for local children in need.

Supplies can be dropped off at The Salvation Army, Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. at:

1625 N. Belcher Road, Clearwater, FL 33765 and 340 14th Avenue South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701

Supplies needed include: backpacks, pencils, glue sticks, composition books, colored pencils, 3-ring binders, crayons, paper, and erasers.

Want to help but don’t have time to drop off items? Click here to shop online and the items will ship directly to The Salvation Army!


 Media Contact: 

Lindsay Crossland, Director of Development
The Salvation Army of Clearwater/Upper Pinellas County
o: 727-725-9777 x 108


CLEARWATER, FL (April 13, 2015) – The Salvation Army encourages everyone to come together for an afternoon of fun to celebrate those who give back to our community! In 2014, over 6,000 volunteers gave 17,528 hours of service to help The Salvation Army serve Upper Pinellas County residents.

From sorting food donations to providing toys to children at Christmas, The Salvation Army relies on volunteers as well as corporate and community partners to meet the growing need in our community.


On Saturday, April 25, all are welcome to attend Partner Appreciation Day at The Salvation Army, 1625 Belcher Road in Clearwater, as volunteers and community partners are honored. This event is open to the public; an RSVP is requested by April 20 to or 727-725-9777 x 105.


Food, fun and games will be available from 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., with a brief presentation of the Outstanding Volunteer Awards, Corporate Bellringer Awards, and the Outstanding Angel Tree Partner Award taking place at 12:30 p.m. Children of all ages are welcome as this is sure to be a wonderful event for the whole family!


For more information on Partner Appreciation Day, please contact Jennifer Renfroe at 727-725-9777 x 105 or

Partner Appreciation Day Invitiation

It’s time to register for the 23rd Annual Kettle Klassic Golf Tournament!

The tournament will be held at beautiful Belleair Country Club on April 16.

Last year, players and sponsors raised over $184,000 for The Salvation Army’s Social Services programs in Upper Pinellas County. In 2014, through these Social Services programs, 58,150 people were served. Energy assistance was provided to 2,074 households. The Kettle Klassic helps serve so many in need!

Individual players can register for $175, team registrations start at $1,000. A limited number of teams can register, do not delay!


To register, please visit the Kettle Klassic Event Page.


Special thanks to the 2015 Kettle Klassic Committee:

Co-Chairs: Todd Ellson and Chuck Orsatti

Advisory Board Chair: R. Paul Umberg

Committee: Alfred Andrews, Rodney Hale, Suzanne Johnson, George E. Mariani, Jr., Andy McAdams, Shannon Ware

Emeritus Committee Member: Clark Lea, Sr.

A day of golfing and giving back

CLEARWATER, FL (February 11, 2014) – The 22nd Annual Kettle Klassic Golf Tournament and Charity Auction will take place on April 9, 2014 at Belleair Country Club. All proceeds from the tournament and auction benefit The Salvation Army’s programs and services throughout Upper Pinellas County.

Sponsorships start at $175 and go up to $5,000. Click here to see the benefits of each sponsorship level.

The tournament will be played on Belleair Country Club’s West Course.

The day will start at 11:45 a.m. with registration and lunch, followed by a shotgun start at 1:00 p.m. All sponsors are invited to join us for the auction and awards reception at 5:30 p.m.

Auction items:
(Coming soon, check back often!)

The Kettle Klassic Committee:

Todd Ellson (Co-Chair)
Alfred Andrews (Co-Chair)
Ryan Clegg
Suzanne Johnson
Clark, Lea, Sr.
George Mariani
Grant Trier
Paul Umberg
Shannon Ware
Ross Weaver

Visit the Kettle Klassic Golf Tournament page for details!

Walmart and The Salvation Army have announced the start of the second annual Fill the Truck Toy Drive, which will bring hundreds of thousands of toys to children across the country.