National Donut Day is today and along with dreams of deep-fried dough, it has me thinking of creative service to others. What got me from donuts to service? The story behind National Donut Day is that the Salvation Army started this day as a fundraiser during the Great Depression. They had become known for donuts during World War I when volunteers would provide comfort and care to soldiers at donut and coffee stations. The National Donut Day tradition has continued ever since, honoring both military veterans and the volunteers who cared for them.
This creative holiday is so popular because it gives people a way to do some good within the everyday routine of their day (or reward themselves with a special treat, as their taste in sweets may be). One of the best ways to gain support and get people involved is to be creative. Like at the Dundalk Renaissance Corporation, one of our partners sites, where Jacqueline, the Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, had volunteers pick up trash on a walk from the town center to a nearby restaurant. Through their efforts, those volunteers picked up enough litter to fill two full pick-up truck, AND they got the reward of fun and food at the end of it!
What these have in common is the organizations being able to identify an important need, and address it in a creative way. It can be a lot of fun coming up with new and creative ways to involve and encourage volunteers. You may even find that your event is so popular in the community that it becomes an annual fundraiser event for your organization! So now as you celebrate the 76th anniversary of this happy holiday with a donut, celebrate service too.