NSAW Fact of the Day: Joan Kroc’s History-Making Charitable Gift


Did You Know…?

In 1998, Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, left The Salvation Army the largest single gift ever given to any charity!

She donated $90 million to The Salvation Army to build a comprehensive community center in San Diego, California. Her wish was to create a center, supported in part by the community, where children and families would be exposed to different people, activities and arts that would otherwise be beyond their reach. Completed in 2001, the center sits on 12 acres and offers an ice arena, gymnasium, three pools, rock climbing walls, a performing arts theatre, an internet-based library, computer lab, and a school of visual and performing arts.

When Mrs. Kroc passed away in October 2003, she left $1.5 billion – much of her estate – to The Salvation Army, by far the largest charitable gift ever given to the Army, and the largest single gift given to any charity at one time, to help build more of these Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Centers across the United States where such amenities and opportunities are scarce.

For more information about Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Community Centers, visit our website here.

Here are some National Salvation Army Week Events Going on around the country tomorrow. Make plans to join us if you’re in the area:

  • SALEM, OR – The Salvation Army will attempt to raise $100,000 in one hour during the third annual “Belief in Action” luncheon for supporters at the new Salvation Army Kroc Community Center.
  • FRESNO, CA – The Salvation Army will host their 120th Anniversary Celebration Luncheon.
  • ROANOKE, VA – A Salvation Army representative will throw out the first pitch and sing the national anthem at their local Advanced Class A baseball team’s “Pack the Park for Charity” event.

In honor of National Salvation Army Week, everyday we are posting one interesting fact on our blog and an event on our website demonstrating how Salvation Army’s across the country are celebrating. Click here for more information on the history of National Salvation Army Week.