Salvation Army Kroc Center is a Beacon of Light in Camden
As part of NJTV’s "In Your Neighborhood" series from Camden, NJ, Steve Adubato heads to the Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center to speak with Administrator, Major Terry Wood, about the history of the Kroc Center, its role as a community gathering place and how it hopes to live up to its mission of being a “beacon of light” for the Camden area.
"Welcome back to One on One. Steve Adubato here. More importantly, this is part of our In Your Neighborhood initiative in collaboration with our partners at NJTV and we are proud to welcome Major Terry Wood, Administrator, Salvation Army, Kroc Community Center in Camden. Good to see you. Thank you Steve. Now let's explain what the Kroc Center is. Named after? Named after Ray and Joan Kroc. It's a Corps Community Center here in Camden, and a 120 square foot facility, on a 24 acre campus. And we're here to serve the community and try to help transform lives. And Ray Croc, in fact, was the founder of McDonalds? Absolutely. And they contributed a huge amount of money to this initiative. If I'm not mistaken, Joan Kroc, who passed in 2003, left 1.5 billion dollars to the Salvation Army to build centers like this all across the country? Correct. Yes. Before she passed away, she had actually built one in San Diego, the first center. And after she saw the impact that it was having on the community, the lives of those individuals in that depressed neighborhood, she decided she wanted to replicate that throughout the United States. Now Major, President Obama was, in fact, here at the Kroc Center in 2015, talking about community policing, and the importance of a center like this. Talk about the center. Talk about the work that it does, and why it's so important in Camden, Major. Well, absolutely. We are here for the community. We serve the surrounding communities as well, but our emphasis is always going to be on Camden. That was Joan Kroc's vision. She wanted underserved communities to have the same resources that anyone else would have in more affluent areas. So that individuals who have tremendous potential can reach that potential in a center such as this. Such programs as? You name it. We have so many programs. We have dozens of fitness programs. We have educational programs. Our daycare center will open this Fall. Educational activities, and also resources for the community, health fairs, job fairs, and many other opportunities for the community to come in and really improve their situation. Major, you see the children here everyday. And by the way, this initiative supported by the good people at the Horizon Foundation who have been very supportive as well, but what I'm... and they're very committed to children, so I'm curious about this. The children of Camden face what types of challenges? Well, a safe environment is certainly one of them. And so we certainly..."