Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions
This section provides answers to our most frequently asked questions about The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers. These questions and answers came from visitors like you. We hope you find them helpful and informative. We would love to address any other questions or issues you may have. Please send us an e-mail and we'll try to get you the answers you need.

Who were Ray and Joan Kroc?
Ray Kroc was the entrepreneur responsible for the success and expansion of McDonald’s, and Joan Kroc was his wife. After Ray’s death, Joan became a well-known philanthropist. Based on the Krocs’ value on hard work, belief that all should have the opportunity and resources to meet their potential, and Joan’s faith in The Salvation Army, Joan Kroc bequeathed over $1.5 billion to The Salvation Army. This money was donated specifically to help disadvantaged communities by providing community centers throughout the nation, and so The Salvation Army’s community centers now proudly bear Ray and Joan Kroc’s names.

How many Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are there?
So far, seven Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are being designed for The Salvation Army’s Eastern US Territory. Currently four centers in the Eastern Territory are open to the public. Even more Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are being designed throughout the rest of the nation. There may be as many as 25 centers in total. The number of centers ultimately opened will depend on community involvement and public support. For more information on Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers in the Eastern Territory, please see the Eastern Territory Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center website.

What do Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers do?
Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers serve many functions. Mostly, they are a resource to enhance communities and provide individuals and families with opportunity to meet their potential. Please see the list of Services and Programs offered by your community center to learn more about its activities.

Can my community afford a Salvation Army Ray and Joan Corps Community Kroc Center?
Most communities experience financial stimulation and economic revival in addition to the other benefits provided by these resources. Each Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center takes approximately two years to build, after design and planning. This is two years of new jobs, construction and services within economically depressed areas. Once construction is over, men and women are needed to run the centers and oversee their services. Vendors of materials and services are also needed to supply the centers so that they can run their programs. The first center in San Diego witnessed a 200% increase in local commercial and retail occupancy during the first 5 years of its operation – this is 200% more local business that can provide jobs and further enrich the community! Most communities chosen to receive a Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center can’t afford not to gain this sort of resource.

How do you decide where the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are located?
Communities wishing to host their own center submitted a proposal through our application process. Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers applications were then evaluated based on their mission worthiness, site selection, budget development, fund-raising potential and funding sustainability, partnerships with other organizations, programming and other issues pertinent to the development of the community centers. A total of 29 competitive applications were received within the Eastern Territory.

Do I have to be a Christian to join a Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center?
No. While The Salvation Army is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, it is dedicated to meeting human needs without discrimination. All persons are welcome to enjoy Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers and benefit from their services.

Why should I volunteer?
Volunteering is a great way to gain valuable professional and life experience. Many will find that their hours spent in service to The Salvation Army provide valuable insights and experience that can help them as they interview or do other work in the future. Beyond that, there is no feeling equal to the feeling of making a difference. Most volunteers will experience immense spiritual and personal growth in addition to the educational value of their volunteer experience.

Why doesn’t my center provide a particular service?
The services, facilities, and programs of each Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center are specifically tailored to address the needs of their community. If you feel there is a community need that your center is not addressing, you can contact your center. Please remember that Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers are largely for the community and by the community. Would you like to participate in a reading circle, drama club, or youth group that does not exist at your center yet? Why not start it? Volunteers are welcome to organize groups or use Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center meeting spaces to enrich themselves and their community.

What does The Salvation Army do?
The Salvation Army is active in 5,000 communities across the United States with worship centers as well as programs and services for hungry individuals and families, homeless people, at-risk kids, senior citizens, pregnant and parenting teens, disaster survivors, victims of domestic violence, drug addicts and alcoholics and so much more.

Are you a social services agency?
We are a group of committed Christians who believe we are called to share the good news of Jesus Christ and help meet human need in His name.

Is The Salvation Army really an army?
The Salvation Army is not a military force, but rather a global ‘army’ of people moved to humanitarian action through faith.

Does The Salvation Army help only those of a certain religion?
The Salvation Army helps people of all religions, as well as those with no religion at all. All social welfare services to individuals or families are given without discrimination, according to the capacity of the organization to serve in meeting the needs of those involved.

Do you have to join The Salvation Army church before the Army will help you?
We respect those who come to us in need, whatever their beliefs may be. We try to establish an environment in which spiritual choice is possible.

Does The Salvation Army discriminate in its delivery of services against those of a particular race or sexual orientation?
We serve where there is need and make no distinction based on ethnicity or sexual orientation.

Does The Salvation Army help only senior citizens?
The Salvation Army helps people of all ages. Young people benefit from many of our services including kids clubs, homework havens and tutoring programs, which provide a safe environment for children and teens. Other beneficiaries of our services include single mothers, abused women, drug and alcohol addicts, the homeless and the physically challenged.

Why should I contribute to The Salvation Army?
There are several answers to this question. First, The Salvation Army has demonstrated its ability to effectively identify and efficiently meet urgent human needs in communities throughout the world for over 120 years. When you give to us, you know that your money is going to those who need it most. Second, the people we serve have multiple needs. The wide range of our programs means that we can deal with the whole person under the umbrella of a single agency. Third, our staff combines the expertise of professional training with the experience of working on a wide variety of social problems and emergency relief situations.