NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) – There seems to be a day for everything now, from National Avocado Day to National Video Game Day.
June 3 is National Donut Day, and it has a history going back more than 100 years with one of the most well-known charitable organizations, the Salvation Army.
National Donut Day was started in 1938 to recognize the Salvation Army’s ‘donut lassies,’ women who volunteered to go to France during World War I to serve solders on the front lines. Their sweet treats gave troops a much-needed morale boost.
“It was just insane what they were able to use just to bring a taste of home, a little taste of home, in a scary time,” said Captain Whitney Houston with the Salvation Army.
More than a hundred years later, the Salvation Army continues the tradition.
“We give out to our first responders here in town, just to say thank you for almost the same exact reason,” Houston said. “You guys are on the front lines. You go to help people, instantly. You put your lives on the line. We want to say thank you.”
They delivered dozens of the delicious treats to first responders, hospitals, and community groups in Denton on Friday.
“This something good,” she said. “This is something fun. It’s good to remember our history and our tradition, and it’s good to help others.”
National Donut Day has become a celebrated staple on America’s calendar, among hundreds of other national days.
“They call me ‘The Holiday Guy’ for a reason,” said Rick McNeely, who lives in Fort Worth. “I actually own about 20 holidays.”
There doesn’t seem to be one, official way to create an unofficial national day, but rather a few online databases that keep track of them. Then it takes a grassroots campaign to get others to buy in.
“It’s sometimes unbelievable, because when you first get them, nobody acknowledges them,” McNeely said. “It has to take time. They’re annual holidays. It takes a year or two for you to build some steam.”
The most famous holiday McNeely has created is National Selfie Day. He hopes it stands the test of time, like National Donut Day.
“We are meant to enjoy our lives,” he said. “We have one shot at it. Why not make it a holiday? Make it something silly. Make it something fun.”
And make it something others can enjoy too.
“I love the comfort that just a little kindness brings,” said Houston.
If you think you have what it takes to create your own national day, you can submit an idea to the National Day Calendar.
The organization only picks 25 new submissions a year out of more than 20,000 submissions.