New England's largest and most comprehensive community center officially opened its doors in April 2011. The center represents The Salvation Army's ongoing commitment to building communities of faith, hope, compassion, and grace.
THE SALVATION ARMY RAY AND JOAN KROC CORPS COMMUNITY CENTER of Boston is an investment that is changing the lives of Boston's neediest families for generations to come. At the Kroc Center children play. Learners discover. Parents dream. Troubled spirits find healing. Families come together. Our community has a place to gather.
The programs, as well as the building itself, have been designed to stimulate the mind, body and spirit, to provide hope, and to transform the life of each and every member of the community.
Located in the Boston neighborhood of Dorchester, the 90,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility features cutting-edge fitness facilities, Boston’s largest indoor aquatics park; a gymnasium with an NCAA-regulation-size basketball court; a 250-seat chapel and performing arts center.
Joan Kroc's Dream
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.
After Ray passed away in 1984, Joan carried forth the tradition, often being called "St. Joan of the Arches." Yet many of her contributions went unnoticed during her lifetime because Joan often requested that her name not be revealed to the organizations she supported.
However, her affinity for The Salvation Army was no secret. In 1998, 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 midcity 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.
At the San Diego Kroc Center's grand opening celebration in June 2002, she expressed her desire that "tens of thousands of children" would be able to enjoy the facility in the coming years. Speaking directly to the youth in the audience, Joan expressed the hope that their hearts would never become hardened by intolerance. "You're what the world is banking on," she concluded. 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. The initial disbursements of this bequest began in January 2005. The gift had by then grown to $1.8 billion and was split evenly among the four Army Territories - Central, East, South and West. The money was designated to build a series of state-of-the-art Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Centers nationwide patterned after the San Diego center. The Salvation Army Kroc Center of Boston is a fulfillment of her vision and provides an unprecedented opportunity for you to do the most good for yourself, your family and your community.