Is It Time to “Dunk” the Doughnut?

The Body Builder

by Captain Terry Camsey – 

I was at a conference concerning raising money for ministry recently.

Now, I have to confess that it’s not really my “bag” and, so far as my home life is concerned, my wife is the treasurer. A very good treasurer I might add, who is an absolute whiz at balancing the expenditure against income. It’s a vital skill because–as one wise man said–“When your outgo exceeds your income, your upkeep will be your downfall!” Over the years we have been “near the river” a few times (more due to “income,” or lack of it, than “outgo” I might add) yet the Lord has always–often unexpectedly–provided for our needs.

The whole issue of financing, or more specifically, financing by credit is a serious one for generations who want “it” now and to pay later.

Every day, it seems, we receive through the mail the offer of yet another plastic card representing credit of thousands of dollars that we apparently qualify for. In fact, I remember a few years ago (well, many years ago, if you insist; I am meticulously honest!) that American Express wrote to tell me I qualified for a large credit rating for which all I had to do was apply. I did and they turned me down because my income was inadequate!

But, here I am digressing again.

Something that really caught my attention at the conference was reference to the fact that (for fund raising purposes) we are still trading on the World War I image of the doughnuts and “doughnut girls” who served the troops during that war.

It’s not that long ago, either, that the “Army lassie’s” bonnet served as an identifying logo for the movement. That’s interesting, too, when you realize that it represented what was at one time a popular item of contemporary dress (London, UK at the end of the 19th century) later to become a “quaint” reminder of that period, since it is virtually defunct now.

What message did that give to our public, I wonder? What image did it promote of us as an organization? “Quaint” to the aficionado may mean something entirely different to generations who rarely wear hats…unless it’s baseball caps worn backwards! Over the past few years, however, that challenge has largely resolved itself since, as few wear bonnets these days, its use as a logo has diminished. But the doughnut has survived…

World War I was fought between 1914 and 1918. That makes the youngest soldier to receive a doughnut in that war (assuming he joined up at age 18 at the end of the war) 98. The oldest 102 (if he joined up at the beginning of that war).

Those who are old enough to remember, or are history “buffs,” will know that many popular songs were generated by the image of the doughnut and the doughnut girls. That image had a tremendous effect on its contemporary society. A contemporary image for a contemporary ministry.

The question running around my mind is: “What symbol might uniquely represent the Army’s contemporary presence in our communities today as powerfully as the doughnut and doughnut girl did in their day?”

Is it time to “dunk” the doughnut?

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