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One of America's favorite desserts shining light on needs in our community

Friday is National Donut Day, and the Salvation Army is using the occasion to raise awareness about problems they're looking to solve in Kent County and beyond.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — The year was 1917, and the world was at war. American soldiers were overseas and in need of a taste of home. The answer was donuts. The Salvation Army sent women to the front lines of World War I to serve the soldiers donuts.

Then in 1938, the Salvation Army honored that history with the first ever National Donut Day celebration in Chicago. Today, Nation Donut Day is celebrated on the first Friday of every June, and it serves as a way for the organization to shine light on issues that need addressed in our communities.

"The need for food has been a huge need here in Kent County. We have seen a 100% increase in the amount of people needing food services here," said Salvation Army Captain Sarah Eddy.

Housing and addiction are two of the other big things Capt. Eddy mentioned as being part of the Salvation Army's focus.

"All those things are huge, and having the opportunity to do that is meeting people right where they are. It looks different than what the Donut Girls did, but it's another opportunity," she said.

Capt. Eddy says there are a number of different ways to help the Salvation Army meet the needs the community is facing.

"You can donate to the Salvation Army and that money goes to be able to help individuals right here in our own community, here in Kent County, to be able to get the housing that they need, to get the assistance they need for food, for utilities, clothing, and all of those different items," she said.

"But there's also volunteer opportunities. We have a food pantry that always needs volunteers. We have kids programs that need volunteers. We have all these different kinds of things."

Capt. Eddy knows first hand how good it can feel to help someone in need.

"I've seen that a lot for myself, especially in disaster services, where you're coming alongside a family that maybe just lost their house after a fire or flood," she said.

"While you can't fix everything, you can give them a glimmer of hope to know that this isn't the end, that there's more to come and there's more opportunity beyond what they're experiencing right now."


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