by MARLENE GERBER –
MAJOR JANICE WILLIAMS (center) receives a proclamation for National Salvation Army Week as Major Doug Williams (left) and other dignitaries look on.
The San Diego ARC launched a unique Famous Doughnuts promotion during National Salvation Army Week.
It was an event-filled week designed to raise community awareness of the ARC Recovery Program, the thrift stores and the many other services provided by The Salvation Army’s Sierra Del Mar Division, as well as introducing the World War I-originated Famous Doughnuts to the public here.
The major sale sites were at Salvation Army thrift stores throughout San Diego County and in front of the ARC’s downtown facility. A series of media events publicized the delectable doughnuts and the Army programs that benefit from their sales. The ARC’s Major Janice Williams donned the uniform of a World War I-era Salvation Army lassie for a whirlwind round of appearances. She was interviewed at the NBC-TV studio as she dispensed doughnuts from the helmet (as did the lassies of yore). She was at the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center another day when KUSI-TV came to cover a series of events arranged by the Sierra Del Mar Division. She was at the County Administration Building with ARC administrator Major Doug Williams (who earlier did several radio interviews) to accept a proclamation for National Salvation Army Week from Supervisor Ron Roberts. And finally, she visited the San Diego Aerospace Museum, where a special exhibit of the beloved World War I Sopwith “Pup” airplane was a fitting backdrop for a flurry of Famous Doughnut sales. A special promotion with the museum offered discounted admission to doughnut buyers.
The Famous Doughnuts originated on the front lines during World War I when the Salvation Army lassie put the needs of hungry American soldiers before her own safety and began frying doughnuts on an 18-inch stove. She became a symbol of a safe haven in a chaotic world. To the soldiers, the doughnut was a taste of comfort and home. The Salvation Army, spearheaded by the Northwest Division, has brought back the Famous Doughnuts, and they are being marketed in the Western United States through Fred Meyer and Ralph’s stores.
Famous Doughnuts are again on the front lines of war. This time, however, it is being fought against the penalties of homelessness, hunger, addictions and poverty. With each box that is sold, the Army’s financial ammunition to fight these conditions is replenished.