Although National Doughnut Day officially began in 1938 as a means for The Salvation Army to raise money for those struggling during the depression, the organization's connection to the fried confection began on the French battlefields during World War I, when Salvation Army "lassies" turned out thousands of the doughnuts to pull the troops through 34 days of consecutive rain. The Salvation Army continues the tradition on the first Friday in June each year to raise money for disaster relief and social services.
To celebrate the most deep-fried holiday in recognition, you could wait in an Oprah-give-away-KFC-coupons-style line for freebies at Krispy Kreme, or pay $18 for beautifully fancy-pants doughnuts at Grace, or you could do it the way it was supposed to be done -- with "lassies" in WWI uniforms and a red kettle at Randy's Donuts.
For every doughnut sold at shops displaying the official National Doughnut Day poster, BakeMark will make a donation to the Salvation Army.
If you can't make it out to Randy's, here's a partial list of participating shops, courtesy of salvationarmy-socal.org:
D.K.'s Donuts, 1614 Santa Monica Blvd.
Donut King, 1912 Lincoln Blvd.
Santa Monica Donut, 2822 Santa Monica Blvd.
Alex's Donuts, 6211 Franklin Ave.
Corner Donut Shop, 10948 Weyburn Ave.
Donut House, 3500 Overland Ave Ste 150
Donuts U.S.A., 11624 Venice Blvd.
Maggie's Donut, 4377 W. Pico
Super Donut House, 7307 Sunset Blvd.
Westdale Donut Shop, 2918 Sawtelle Blvd.
Marina Del Rey
Wendy's Donut, 4000 Lincoln
West Los Angeles
Westside Donuts & Croissant, 11277 Santa Monica Blvd.
Miss Donuts & Bakery, 1871 Pacific Coast Hwy
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Jon's Donuts, 3127 Artesia Blvd.
Miss Donuts & Bakery 1842 W. 182nd St.
Donut Den 4257 Pacific Coast Hwy.
With such a geographically comprehensive lineup, there should be no reason not to buy at least one. So in the name of disaster relief and social services, eat a doughnut.