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Every Wednesday you can find Christine Wright at her local Salvation Army women’s group in Kansas City, Mo. While looking for a church she came to the Blue Valley Corps and felt at home. She has been going to The Salvation Army for more than 30 of her 94 years. While waiting in the lobby one Sunday she picked up a War Cry magazine. “I couldn’t wait to get home to flip through it.” She never thought she would see what she did when she turned the page.
“Oh my, it’s my dad’s picture!” Christine was reading an article about the WWI donut lassies when she saw a photo of her father. “It was just like he was looking at me.” Christine’s father, John Wilson, was from Norman, MO and was drafted into the U.S. Army to serve in France from 1917 through the end of the war. “He use to tell us how The Salvation Army would give the soldiers doughnuts and hot coffee.”
In the article Christine read about the doughnut lassies ministry to the soldiers during WWI. About 250 Salvation Army volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods. During World War I, Donut Lassies served coffee and donuts to soldiers in the trenches. Rations were poor so the donut idea was conceived as a means of bringing the soldiers cheer. Donuts were not the reason Salvation Army workers were in the fighting zones of France; they were there primarily to give spiritual aid and comfort to the American soldier and his allies.
Christine recalls the words of her father. “He would tell us ‘They would pray with us and befriended us.’ He use to tell us kids, ‘we probably would have died if it weren’t for The Salvation Army. Whenever you have money, give to The Salvation Army.’”
Learn more about how The Salvation Army is helping people in your community.