The Salvation Army Honors Vets during Annual Donut Days
The Salvation Army will celebrate Donut Days on May 30 and 31, and June 6 and 7. Staff and volunteers will be at intersections and store fronts throughout the greater Chicagoland area collecting donations in exchange for a tasty Entenmann’s classic chocolate donut.
The annual event highlights The Salvation Army’s services to the most vulnerable in our communities, including our veterans. “National Donut Day has become a true American tradition in which The Salvation Army asks the general public to remember and honor our veterans, as well as their neighbors in need who are facing hunger, homelessness and crisis,” said Lt. Colonel Ralph Bukiewicz, Commander of The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division.
Donations collected during these two weekends help clients such as Maurice Bufford, a Vietnam veteran, who is finally sober after 41 years of drug and alcohol abuse after receiving treatment at The Salvation Army’s Harbor Light Center.
Harbor Light is a beacon of hope for those battling serious substance abuse issues, especially to those who might have failed in other treatment programs and are considered high-risk cases. Programs and services help clients achieve success and sobriety through setting goals, re-establishing their lives and becoming productive citizens in their communities.
Bufford talks candidly about his drug use, first starting at 16 years old. “I started so I could talk to the girls. It just became my way of life.” During his time in the Navy, Bufford continued using while stationed on a battleship off the Philippine coast. “I was so drunk that I don’t remember a third of what I did.”
During treatment, Bufford attended counseling, classes, therapy sessions and spiritual groups – all aimed at building up self-esteem and confidence, and providing understanding into the root of addiction. He credits these classes with his success when all previous attempts failed. “Before, I wanted to get sober my way. This time I did it their way.”
Now, almost three years later, Bufford is preparing to move out on his own. “I’m looking forward to the next step,” he said. “And I’m looking forward to buying a big bed!” Bufford said he’ll still be connected to The Salvation Army through Sunday worship and Bible study at a local corps community center. “But I will miss the camaraderie at Harbor Light. We’re a family and look out for each other.”