The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

Texas A&M utility Gavin Grahovac (9) throws the ball during A&Ms game against Georgia on Friday, April 26, 2024, at Olsen Field. (CJ Smith/The Battalion)
Southern slugfest
May 23, 2024
Advertisement
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
A&M System’s Title IX director suspended after supporting Biden's Title IX changes
Nicholas Gutteridge, Managing Editor • May 23, 2024
Advertisement
A fighter jet squadron flies over during the National Anthem before Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas at Olsen Field on Saturday, May 18, 2024. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Bryan-College Station Regional participants announced
Ian Curtis, Sports Writer • May 27, 2024

For the second time in three seasons, No. 3 national seed Texas A&M baseball will host the Bryan-College Station Regional, where it’ll...

Advertisement
Beekeeper Shelby Dittman scoops bees back into their hive during a visit on Friday, April 5, 2024. (Kyle Heise/The Battalion)
Bee-hind the scenes
Shalina Sabih, Sports Writer • May 1, 2024

The speakers turn on. Static clicks. And a voice reads “Your starting lineup for the Texas A&M Aggies is …” Spectators hear that...

Kennedy White, 19, sits for a portrait in the sweats she wore the night of her alleged assault inside the Y.M.C.A building that holds Texas A&M’s Title IX offices in College Station, Texas on Feb. 16, 2024 (Ishika Samant/The Battalion).
'I was terrified'
April 25, 2024
Scenes from 74
Scenes from '74
April 25, 2024
Advertisement
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Salvation Army to get record donation from estate of McDonald’s heiress

WASHINGTON – The charity famous for its red Christmas kettles is getting a record donation from the woman behind the golden arches.
The estate of Joan Kroc, the McDonald’s heiress, said Tuesday it is giving an estimated $1.5 billion to the Salvation Army to build community centers across the country. It’s the largest single donation ever given to a charitable organization.
The Salvation Army, which promises ”soup, soap and salvation,” was a favorite of her husband, Ray Kroc, who died in 1984. He was a bell-ringer for the charity in the 1950s and ’60s. ”He used to bring coffee and hamburgers to kettle workers,” said W. Todd Bassett, national commander of the organization.
The exact size of the gift won’t be known until administration of Kroc’s estate is complete, which could take several months.
”We are obviously thrilled, but genuinely humbled by the exceptional generosity of Joan Kroc,” said Bassett. ”We recognize the deep sense of trust she has placed into our hands with this gift.”
The money will be used to build about 25 to 30 community centers across the country similar to the Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center. That facility opened in San Diego in June 2002 after a $92 million gift by Kroc to the Salvation Army.
The 12-acre recreation and cultural arts center serves about 6,600 members, who participate in classes such as skating, swimming and gymnastics. The goal, Kroc remarked at the time, was to create a place where youths can reach their full potential and ”learn of each other.”
Kroc was the widow of Ray Kroc, who founded McDonald’s Corp. in 1955.
A noted philanthropist, she gave away hundreds of millions of dollars to promote world peace, education, health care and the arts.
Mrs. Kroc died Oct. 12 and bequeathed $200 million to National Public Radio and $50 million apiece to peace institutes at the universities of Notre Dame and San Diego that bear her name. Other organizations and charities also received millions of dollars.
Kroc’s gift to the Salvation Army is the ninth biggest ever to a nonprofit organization, the Salvation Army said. The largest ever was Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates’ $6 billion donation in 1999 to his own philanthropic group, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
The Salvation Army, which began providing services in 1880, operates about 9,000 centers, including soup kitchens, addiction recovery centers and disaster assistance shelters. Its leaders are ordained ministers and receive about $50,000 annually in salary, housing and benefits, a spokesman for the charity said.
Kroc’s gift comes at a time when many charities are struggling to attract money. While donations are showing a bit of an uptick following a 1.2 percent decline in 2002, a strong pickup in gift-giving isn’t usually seen until an economic rebound is well under way.
”This is very significant,” said Stacy Palmer, editor of The Chronicle of Philanthropy. ”Organizations like the Salvation Army don’t usually get big billion-dollar gifts. There have been cuts in state and federal budgets – this is a group that relies on government as well as private donations.”
The Alexandria, Va.-based charity took in about $2.3 billion last year.
About 83 cents of every dollar donated, or $1.9 billion, is devoted to program services, according to the group. It has ranked in the top third in efficiency of operations, according to the Chicago-based American Institute of Philanthropy.
Bassett said Kroc’s donation specifies that half the money be for construction of the new centers and the other half be placed in an endowment, with the earnings used as income to partially support the centers’ operations.
The charity estimates it will have to raise an additional $40 million to $60 million per year to fund the rest of the operational costs for the centers.None of the gift is to be used for existing programs, services or administrative costs.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Battalion

Your donation will support the student journalists of Texas A&M University - College Station. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Battalion

Comments (0)

All The Battalion Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *