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

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

NATIONAL SALVATION ARMY WEEK

Did You Know…?

In 1998, Mrs. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc, 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.

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