Joan Kroc, wife of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, said that she took a tour of San Diego and it was then that she recognized a community that was in desperate need of a safe gathering place, a place with facilities and trained professionals to nurture children’s social skills, arts appreciation and athletic potential. She described The Kroc Center as being a beacon of light and hope in the community.
Mrs. Kroc entrusted The Salvation Army with $90 million to build the first Kroc Center in the Rolando neighborhood of San Diego. Sadly, she passed away a little more than a year after it opened. She was so pleased with what was accomplished here that she left $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army to build centers like this across the country. Today, there are 26 Kroc Centers nationwide.
The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is a 12.4-acre family support, education, recreation, and cultural arts center. The facility is open to members and the general public, and serves residents of East San Diego, La Mesa and Lemon Grove with a variety of quality programs for individuals of all ages.
Development of the Kroc Center was made possible by a $90 million combined capital and endowment grant from a bequest to The Salvation Army by the late Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc.
The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.