LIHUE — Kyle Karioka of The Salvation Army, Honolulu office, said during World War I, the Army sent “donut lassies” to the frontlines, offering food, services and comfort to the soldiers.
“They cooked doughnuts using the metal helmets worn by soldiers,” Karioka said. “That’s how they got their name. The Salvation Army has always been concerned about, and is ready to serve those in need, resulting in the Kokua Soup Kitchens.”
The symbolic cooking and serving of doughnuts became the basis of The Salvation Army Donut Day celebration, the initiative going national with donut shops dispensing free doughnuts to customers.
“We heard about this on the news aboard the cruise ship, Thursday night,” said Marjorie Gorai of Honolulu. “My husband Clifford used to live on Kauai and said he wanted some Po’s Kitchen food so I thought I might get lucky and get a donut.”
As it turned out, Marjorie’s prayers were answered as she stopped off at Daylight Doughnuts for her free morsel while her husband loaded up with bento lunches and sushi a few doors down.
“The line has been long all morning,” Karioka said. “At 6:30 a.m., just half an hour after starting, the line was outside the shop on the sidewalk. It’s been pretty busy.”
April Taguiam said getting the free doughnuts was a perfect way to end a sleepover at her home.
“This is perfect,” Taguiam said. “I saw this on social media and I told the kids we were going to come here after the sleepover.”
Daylight Doughnuts got some help distributing doughnuts when The Salvation Army Thrift Store opened its doors with a limited supply of doughnuts which it distributed to its shoppers while supplies lasted.
It also offered a day-long special featuring discounted pricing.