History of National Donut Day

The First “National Donut Day”

The Salvation Army in Chicago celebrated the first National Donut Day in 1938 to help those in need during the Great Depression and to commemorate the work of the “Donut Lassies,” who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.

In 1917, The Salvation Army began a mission to provide spiritual and emotional support for U.S. soldiers fighting in France during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.

Despite discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two officers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in a small pan. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.

Nicknamed “Donut Lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “doughboys”) returned home from war.

The donut now serves as a symbol of the comfort that The Salvation Army provides to those in need through its many social services programs. The Salvation Army still serves donuts, in addition to warm meals and hydration, to those in need during times of disaster.

National Donut Day is held annually on the first Friday in June, and The Salvation Army celebrates the work of the original Donut Lassies by delivering donuts to those in need and to donut lovers across the country.

A Recipe from the Front Lines




Donut Lassies

Salvation Army Texas Brass Bands visit Greater Houston

The Salvation Army of Greater Houston was proud to welcome the Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass bands of The Salvation Army’s Texas Division of Music Arts.

The bands had two special performances on Saturday, May 26, 2018: the first at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center at 3 p.m. and the second at The Salvation Army Harbor Light Center & Red Shield Lodge at 7 p.m.

On Sunday, May 27, the brass bands also visited two of our Corps (churches). The Texas Brass Band performed at our International Corps in Alief and the Lonestar Brass Band performed at the Pasadena Corps. Their musical tour came to an end in Galveston, where they performed at Menard Park.

About the Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass Bands

The Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass bands are part of the Texas Divisional music program of The Salvation Army. Lonestar Brass consists of around 30 young people from across the state and is an intermediate level brass ensemble. Texas Brass is the premier youth brass ensemble of the Texas Division. It is made up of approximately 30 members, ages 14-30.

Texas Brass has been privileged to have the opportunity to minister in many places, sharing the gospel message through concerts, parades, and music camps both in the USA and abroad. Previous international trips include Trinidad, Chile, Canada, Brazil, England, Norway, Russia, Fiji, Paris and most recently it supported The Salvation Army in Mexico in its 80th Anniversary celebrations.  Each member also sings in the Divisional Youth Chorus.

For more information about the Texas Divisional Music program, visit TexasMusicAndArts.com.

Bissonnet Family Store is Home to Three New Murals

On Saturday, May 26, 2018, the Mayor’s Citizens’ Assistance Office (a Division of the Department of Neighborhoods), along with UP Art Studio, proudly unveiled three community-based murals at The Salvation Army Family Store located at 6150 Bissonnet Street, Houston, 77081.

This community-based mural engaged many in the Gulfton community.  The Chicago artist Rahmaan Statik, who painted one of the murals, visited Braeburn Elementary and included the art of several students in the mural’s design.  The artist also merged various media styles into the mural, including spray paint, acrylics, and gessoed cloth.

The scope of the project also included two additional murals painted by Gelson Danilo Lemus aka w3r3on3, a Guatemalan-born Houston resident street artist who is a well-known for his distinctive style, and Denial, an internationally-recognized pop artist.

About the Project

The event commemorated the completion of the communal mural, following UP Art Studio’s accomplishment of securing two grants for the realization of this project. Grants were received from the Play Everywhere challenge by Target + Kaboom! of $20,000 along with an APG grant from the Houston Art Alliance of $10,000 via UP Art Studio’s fiscal sponsorship relationship with Fresh Arts. Other sponsors and supporter’s instrumental in this project included Hotel Ylem, Jerry’s Artarama, Akzo Nobel, Neutex Lighting, and Richard Rodriguez.


Click on the picture below to view more pictures.


Ford Motor Company Donates Vehicles for Salvation Army On-going Disaster Relief Efforts

On Friday, May 11, The Salvation Army, along with seven other local nonprofits, joined Houston-area Ford dealers at the Houston Food Bank for a “Texas is Family” community event to mark Ford’s continued support of ongoing recovery efforts in southeast Texas.

The Ford Fund granted The Salvation Army a total of $500,000, which enabled us to purchase five Ford Edges and four Box Trucks in support of the on-going work of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services in Texas.


To view photo album of event, click here.

The Ford Edges are being used by Salvation Army caseworkers who travel across the state to provide assistance to individuals and families impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

After experiencing the damaging effects of Hurricane Harvey in Port Arthur, TX, the Johnson Family were at wit’s end. They had lost their home, which led them to move into a trailer. “Though we had the dwelling, we didn’t have the essential items,” said Marion Johnson, mother of four. Fortunately, with the help of The Salvation Army and Ford Motors the road to recovery for the Johnson Family will not be as challenging.

Marion connected with The Salvation Army and one of our regional recovery managers who helped provide basic-items for their new home. “When I saw the Ford Edge stop in front of my home I was excited,” said Marion. The vehicle was filled with household items such as linens, dishes, bedding, and much more. “It was jam-packed from top to bottom, and front to back,” she said. The Ford Edge gave The Salvation Army manager the capacity to transport much needed household items straight to her home.

Our regional managers travel across the state to work with local community groups and churches to assist families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Ford’s donation allows The Salvation Army the flexibility to meet with clients such as Marion.


The Box Trucks are assigned to Salvation Army distribution centers, which receive and deploy donated food and products to affected communities. The Salvation Army responded to Hurricane Harvey with mass care and bulk distribution in 35 Texas Counties, serving over 900,000 meals with 105 canteens (mobile kitchens) in operation during the response phase. The added Ford Box Trucks now give the department the ability to dispense to the 9 distribution centers located in the affected areas of Hurricane Harvey.

Currently, more than 16 caseworkers have seen 16,000 clients and have provided more than $6,146,000 in direct assistance.

Thank you, Ford Fund, for your support of The Salvation Army and our on-going relief and recovery efforts.

If you would  like to become an official Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) volunteer, please click here.

Salvation Army Pasadena hosts Texans Care Volunteer Day

On Saturday, April 28, 2018, The Salvation Army Pasadena Corps Community Center welcomed the United Way of Greater Houston and the Houston Texans for their sixth annual Texans Care Volunteer Day. The Texans Care Volunteer Day took place at seven locations across the Greater Houston community, including The Salvation Army.

This annual event offered Texans fans the opportunity to volunteer around the city alongside the Texans Cheerleaders, TORO, Texans staff and Houston Texans players.

Beautifying Pasadena Corps

At The Salvation Army Pasadena Corps Community Center, volunteers, including Texans players Stephen Anderson and Zach Coque, mulched flowerbeds and the playground area, power washed sidewalks as well as re-painted rooms throughout the building. The Mayor of Pasadena Jeff Wagner and Pasadena First Lady Ginny Wagner were also on hand volunteering.

Over 2,000 volunteers, including Texans players, cheerleaders, ambassadors and fans, helped make a difference and gave back to the city.

The other participating organizations included the Houston Texans YMCA, the Houston Food Bank, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston, the Houston Zoo, the Santa Maria Hostel, and the Avondale House.

Remembering Former First Lady Barbara Bush

Like you, we were heartbroken to hear about the death of former First Lady, Mrs. Barbara Bush. As the country mourns the loss of a remarkable woman, The Salvation Army also mourns the loss of one of its fiercest advocates and most loyal friends.

Mrs. Bush wrote in 1993 that “George Bush and I have been the two luckiest people in the world, and when all the dust has settled and all the crowds are gone, the things that matter are faith, family, and friends.”

Connection with The Salvation Army

Mrs. Bush’s connection with The Salvation Army was forged at birth. She born in 1925 at a Salvation Army hospital in New York City, delivered by a family physician who volunteered at the hospital.

During her husband George H.W. Bush’s presidency, Mrs. Bush’s directive to staff was that “Each day we should do something to help others.”  She believed that everyone deserved an equal opportunity to succeed in life, and she used her considerable influence to advocate for the homeless, veterans, children and adults.

Saving the Red Kettle

She once singlehandedly saved The Salvation Army’s red kettle campaign in Washington D.C. During her first Christmas as First Lady, Mrs. Bush learned that several area malls were banning The Salvation Army’s annual fundraising campaign. She very publicly donated $10 to the campaign and effectively ended the ban. By the time that she rang the bell at Gallery Furniture in 2006, Mrs. Bush was a veteran. Of those that carried out the ministry of The Salvation Army, she said, “They’re the best, the most sacrificing people we know.”

Love of Literacy

Of course, Barbara Bush’s favorite cause was literacy. She believed that many of society’s social problems – crime, addiction, hunger, and homelessness – were rooted in illiteracy. She understood that by providing opportunities for more people to learn to read and write, many of these challenges could be alleviated. Her love of literacy and legacy for serving those in need lives on in the lives of her children and grandchildren, who also work tirelessly to promote equal opportunity for all.

Promoted to Glory

Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire Bush Family. May they be comforted in knowing that the matriarch of their family made a positive impact on millions of lives and her legacy will never be forgotten. In The Salvation Army, we do not say that a person has died, but rather that they have been Promoted to Glory.  We salute Mrs. Bush for a life lived well and dedicated to serving others. We will never forget her words that “Working for God may not pay much, but the retirement benefits are out of this world.”

2018 Chic Boutique Four-Day Sale

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary of Houston is preparing for the 2018 Reflections on Style fundraiser.  This is the 14th year of this fabulous event!  Beautiful clothes and accessories are donated from some of Houston’s best dressed women.  The money raised from the fashion show and showroom sales supports the work of The Salvation Army in Greater Houston.

Reflections on Style event

The theme of the 14th annual Reflections on Style Luncheon, Fashion Show and Chic Boutique is Destination Fashion. The event is taking place on Tuesday, April 17, 2018 at 11 a.m. This year’s event chairs are Diana “Stick” Delaup and Rhonda Jones. The honoree is Betty Hrncir, Contributing Life Member of The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary and President of the Barbara Bush Ladies for Literacy Guild.

Tables of 10 start at $6,000. Individual tickets are available at $600 and $1,000. Tables at the $10,000 level and up and individual $1,000 tickets will enjoy Priority Early Shopping in the Chic Boutique for the best selections.

Chic Boutique Four-Day Sale

The day after the Reflections on Style event, the Women’s Auxiliary will be hosting the Chic Boutique’s Opening Night on Wednesday, April 18, 2018 from 5 to 8 p.m. A $20 donation at the door will give you the opportunity to shop for the greatest deals before the Boutique opens to the general public the following day.

Second Chance shopping will be on Thursday, April 19 and Friday, April 20 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Your Last Chance to shop will be Saturday, April 21, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Click here to print flyer.

Doing The Most Good by Shopping!

The money raised provides help and hope to our neighbors in our community, served by The Salvation Army.   In the past years funds have been provided to our Salvation Army Boys and Girls Clubs for computer labs, music classes, dance classes, cheer classes, football and basketball uniforms, sports equipment, scholarships for summer day camp and summer camps.

Funds have been provided to our homeless shelters and recovery programs for: mattresses, washers and dryers, computer labs, and fitness equipment.  Two years ago, six (6) 12-passenger vans were purchased for six of our Salvation Army Corps Community Centers.  The projects that are sponsored help men, women, young adults, older adults, babies, children and teenagers.

Women’s Auxiliary’s support after Harvey

Each Christmas, The Salvation Army provides toys to over 20,000 children in Houston through our annual Angel Tree program. After Hurricane Harvey, our Christmas Warehouse was flooded and we lost our complete stock of toys.  Thanks to the Women’s Auxiliary’s $65,000 donation we were able to purchase toys for last year’s Angel Tree. The Women’s Auxiliary is our main supporter of this program.

These are some of the reasons this event and sale are so important!

The Salvation Army makes a promise to the community to do the most good, to the most people in the most need.

The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary helps us fulfill that promise.

Questions & Inquiries

For more information about these events and to learn more about The Salvation Army’s Women’s Auxiliary, please contact Sara  Zachry at 832-201-8023 or sara.zachry@uss.salvationarmy.org.

The Salvation Army awards $79,000 in scholarships to 15 youth from Greater Houston Area

The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs of Metropolitan Houston celebrated its annual Youth of the Year Scholarship Awards Banquet on February 20, 2018, where $79,000 in scholarship money was awarded to a total of 15 recipients. In the last twelve years, The Salvation Army has awarded more than $1 million to 160 participants through the Youth of the Year program.

The 2018 Youth of the Year overall winner is Maya Barnes, from The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club – Garden City Branch. Barnes competed in the 14 and older age division and received the top prize of a $12,000 college scholarship.

Barnes is currently in ninth grade at Cypress Springs High School. She excels at school and is an avid softball player, forming part of elite teams such as the Houston Astros regional team and Softball Factory national team. Barnes also received the MVP award from the Cy-Fair Intruders softball team. At the banquet, Barnes said, “As for my future aspirations, I plan to be an OB/GYN and plan to come back and work with other children so that they too have access to the opportunities that I have been blessed with.”

The 2018 Junior Youth of the Year winner is Caleb Smith, from The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs – Irvington Branch. Caleb competed in the 12 & 13 age group division, winning a $3,000 scholarship.

Smith is a seventh grader at Hamilton Middle School. Active in school sports, Smith is part of the basketball and track teams and is a percussionist in his school band. Outside of school, he has been named the local champion of the NFL’s “Punt, Pass & Kick” competition and recently joined the Houston Astros Inner City baseball program. Speaking about his experience in the Youth of the Year program, Smith said, “This was something outside of my comfort zone but with practice and determination I have proven to myself that I can succeed at this too. I am evolving into a young leader and I am proud of where my achievements are taking me.”



Older Division Scholarship Recipients

1st – Maya Barnes – Garden City Club – $12,000

2nd – Kahleah Chandler – Garden City Club – $10,000

3rd – Wallace Jones, III – Northwest – $8,000

4th – Maria Slater – International Corps – $7,000

5th – Deon Jackson – Irvington Branch – $7,000

6th – Jacob Chacon – Pasadena Branch – $6,000

7th – Yanna Mouton – Aldine Westfield Branch – $6,000

8th – Breanna Boyd – Aldine Westfield Branch – $6,000

9th – Jewel Fletcher – Garden City Branch – $5,000

10th – Myiesha McCardell – Irvington Branch – $5,000

Younger Division Scholarship Recipients

1st – Caleb Smith – Irvington Branch – $3,000

2nd – Carra Randle – Garden City Branch – $1,000

3rd – Aldo Aguilar – International Corps – $1,000

4th – Hilda Jeronimo – Irvington Branch – $1,000

5th – Omar Escobar – Garden City Branch – $1,000


The Youth of the Year Scholarship Awards Banquet event was chaired by Sara B. Wise. David Brady, public address announcer for the Houston Texans, served as the event’s master of ceremony.

Participants in the local Youth of the Year competition are members of The Salvation Army Youth programs, including The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs and TRIO Upward Bound Math Science program. The competition is divided into the following age groups: 10 to 11, 12 to 13, and 14 and older. The Youth of the Year program is a national Boys & Girls Clubs initiative, celebrating the extraordinary achievements of Club members. In the end, one club member will be selected as the National Youth of the Year winner.

To learn more about The Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs, please click here.

The Salvation Army and Texas Local Disaster Recovery Squad Join Forces to Assist Harvey Survivor

The Salvation Army of Greater Houston and Texas Local Disaster Recovery Squad (TX LDRS) will come together on Saturday, February 24 for the final stages of mucking and gutting the property of Houston resident and Hurricane Harvey survivor Asha Ramraj. In addition, The Salvation Army and TX LDRS, along with five other Houston area nonprofits working in disaster relief, are working together to fundraise for her next home.

Asha Ramraj’s Story

Ramraj’s home was devastated by a fire in 2015 and during her efforts to rebuild the structure, her beloved husband, Dhanraj, died suddenly from a heart attack in 2016. Later that year, grief-stricken and alone, she did her best to save her home in the Tax Day Floods, and the belongings that remained were flooded and washed away by Hurricane Harvey in 2017.

The Salvation Army and Ramraj cross paths

The Salvation Army first came across Ramraj while distributing donations in the Aldine area. She had been living in the remains of her utility room with only a rusted piece of metal for a roof. The Salvation Army provided financial assistance to help her pay past-due bills. “Mrs. Ramraj’s resilience and determination is the embodiment of what it means to be ‘Houston Strong,’” said Melanie Pang, The Salvation Army of Greater Houston’s Manager of Emergency Services. “Mrs. Ramraj is not just rebuilding her property, she’s rebuilding her life, and we are all honored to be a part of that journey.”


In order to continue to assist Ramraj with her property, The Salvation Army reached out to TX LDRS who began the process of clearing her property of hazardous materials. Among TX LDS past and ongoing efforts to assist Ramraj: recruit volunteers and donate 40 yard dumpster for initial and upcoming muck and gut, cut down trees impinging on neighbor’s yard, and provided a truck load of care packages.

“Being able to meet Asha and understand the tremendous heartache and loss she has experienced changes you,” said Melissa Vivanco, Vice President of TX LDRS. “Asha has been surviving with little to nothing, yet still manages to smile big. She deserves a second chance and it would mean everything to me to see her have a place she can call home again.”

It takes a village

With the goal to continue to meet Ramraj’s needs, a community-wide collaboration has formed. BakerRipley has assisted with care packages and other support. SBP is working to find her next housing solution, while The Alliance for Multicultural Community Services will continue to support her with case management services. Texas Q has helped to sponsor meals for volunteers and Houston Police Explorers – Central Post 2061 assisted with massive cleanup at the start of the project.

How you can get involved

For those interested in donating to help build Ramraj’s next home, please click here.

To become a trained volunteer with The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team, click here.

Community Coffee Co. Partners with The Salvation Army to Support Texas Flood Relief

On February 20th, Community Coffee Company presented a $125,000 check to The Salvation Army to benefit its ongoing flood and hurricane relief efforts in Texas.

The donation is the result of funds raised through the sale of all Community® coffee products from September through October, and will help support those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“We can’t thank Community Coffee enough for their generosity,” said Major Kent Davis, area commander of The Salvation Army of Greater Houston. “Many families are still recovering from the damage and flooding, and this donation will make a huge difference in helping them rebuild their lives.”

Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey response and recovery efforts

The Salvation Army’s rapid and immediate response to Hurricane Harvey was the largest scale disaster response effort since Hurricane Katrina. More than 100 Salvation Army mobile kitchens were deployed throughout Texas serving almost 1 million meals and providing cleanup kits, comfort kits and practical and spiritual support in communities left devastated by the storm.

In the months since, The Salvation Army has established 10 warehouses as Points of Distribution in affected areas. Through these locations those affected have received 31,945 food boxes, 67,652 packs of cleanup supplies, more than 80,000 orders of infant supplies, and 97,675 hygiene kits. Additionally, Salvation Army caseworkers have delivered more than $1.35 million in direct financial assistance to individuals and families.

“After providing 372,000 cups of Community coffee and equipment to flood evacuees and first responders, we knew we wanted to do more to help Texas communities get back on their feet,” said David Belanger, president & CEO of Community Coffee Company. “We’re honored to partner with The Salvation Army and ensure local families are continuing to get the support and resources they need.”

Belanger awarded a total of $125,000 to The Salvation Army at the organization’s Greater Houston disaster warehouse.

About Community Coffee Company

Now in its 98th year, Community Coffee Company houses the largest family-owned and operated retail coffee brand in America, and four generations of the Saurage family have operated the company since its inception. Founded in 1919, Community Coffee Company is an importer, roaster and distributor of the highest-quality premium coffees and teas, using only 100% Arabica coffee beans. For additional information, visit CommunityCoffee.com.