An Oasis of Spiritual, Educational and Wellness Experiences

The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center is a 20-acre worship, education, recreation and cultural arts facility. Its mission is to share the love of Jesus Christ by providing life-changing spiritual, educational and wellness experiences. Made possible by a substantial gift from the late philanthropist Mrs. Joan Kroc, as well as the generous support of individuals, organizations and families throughout West Michigan, the Center provides a variety of programs for individuals of all ages. The community center is open to all West Michigan families.

If you’ve ever eaten at a McDonald’s restaurant, you were indirectly supporting a number of charities like The Salvation Army, the Ronald McDonald House and St. Vincent de Paul. That’s because McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc and his wife, Joan, were generous philanthropists.

Ray Kroc passed away in 1984. Four years later, Joan announced that she was donating $80 million for the building of the first Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, to be located in a beleaguered city neighborhood in San Diego. Her vision was to create a place where all people, regardless of social status, had access to a world-class recreational, educational and cultural arts facility.

As of her death in 2003, more than 3 million people had visited the San Diego Kroc Center, far exceeding Joan’s hopes. And now more children than Joan could have ever envisioned will have opportunities they might never have had. Thanks to Joan’s $1.5 billion donation to The Salvation Army, Kroc Centers have been built across the nation — including the one that opened right here in our own city of Grand Rapids in 2010!

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