Why did Mrs. Kroc pick The Salvation Army?
Mrs. Kroc and her husband Ray - founder of McDonald's - were long-time supporters of The Salvation Army. During the 1950's and 60's, Ray volunteered as a bell ringer and used to deliver hot coffee and hamburgers from his Golden Arches restaurant to bell ringers along Michigan Avenue in downtown Chicago.
Mrs. Kroc remembered hearing her family talk around the dinner table about how The Salvation Army helped people during the depression and has had a favorable impression ever since.
She made her first large gift - in excess of $90 million - to establish the first Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in San Diego. That Center opened to great success and Mrs. Kroc visited often. She felt that the Center exceeded her own expectations and was an ideal vehicle for her vision.