Keeping true to the mission

Majors Foley, previous directors of the nation’s first Kroc Center, reflect on holding fast to Joan Kroc’s vision and the Army’s mission.

by Cindy and Tim Foley – 

Joan Kroc talks with Major Tim Foley and his daughter Laura at the dedication of the center in June of 2002.

At the heart of every Salvation Army program is a practical hand of assistance and a heart filled with the love of God.

Whether it be in the streets of London, around a kettle of soup over a fire, or in a world class gymnasium filled with neighborhood kids, The Salvation Army has always been focused on demonstrating the love of God in action and then sharing the story of God’s love with those who have been assisted. It’s a mission that worked for William and Catherine Booth and it is still working today.

In the four years that the San Diego Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center has been open, nearly 3 million individuals have had an opportunity to share in the vision that Joan Kroc had to enable the mission of The Salvation Army to grow to new heights. Joan wanted her husband Ray to be remembered for more than just hamburgers—she wanted his legacy to be life-changing opportunities for children, families, and adults. Joan wanted to partner with an organization that would provide opportunity and potential to all people without discrimination. And she wanted to work with people who respected the whole person and would be motivated and capable of enriching the soul as well as the body. She took her vision to only one organization…The Salvation Army.

Joan Kroc’s confidence in this organization will enable the Army to reach a larger and more diverse group of people than it has ever been able to meet. With an enhanced array of programs and facilities that are built to take people to the top of their potential, a modern day Kroc Center is a just another example of The Salvation Army being creative and innovative in its methods to reach out the human arm of God in service and in love.

When William Booth couldn’t get the people to come to God, he brought God to the people. A Kroc Center is a post-modern sanctuary that beckons people to come to find the desires of their heart. It is God’s House for a modern society that doesn’t realize that you need to feed your mind, body, and your soul. From crisis intervention to case management, from socialization programs for seniors and immigrant families, to fine art instruction and basketball leagues, a Salvation Army Kroc Center will be the center of a neighborhood—built and dedicated to fulfilling the mission of God to share his love with all who would hear.

The Salvation Army’s identity is not in crisis. Its mission has not changed. We continue to adjust our methods to remain Christ-focused in an ever changing world. This gift is a testament of trust and a sacred opportunity to allow people to discover the gifts and talents that God instilled in them and to develop the potential that he has placed within us. Let us not look at this gift in fear. Let us all be encouraged to remain true to the unique ministry that we have always had. Heart to God and Hand to Man, we will continue to better the community around us one soul at a time.

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