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January 10, 2021 1:03 am
As we continue our Highlight Reel series, today we’re going to focus on one of the most unique Salvation Army ministries and programs, our Kroc Centers. Back in January of 2018, we were joined by the Territorial Director of Kroc Centers, Steve Carpenter. He shared some of the overall mission and purpose of these centers. We then get to take a virtual tour of the Memphis Kroc Center.
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life. Welcome back the words of life. I'm Bernie Dake and as we continue our highlight reel series. Today were going to focus on one of the most unique Salvation Army ministries and programs. Our crock centers. These amazing facilities are the result of a collaboration with philanthropist and friend of the Salvation Army. Joan crock you may know her as the widow of the cofounder of McDonald's. I had the privilege of meeting Mrs. Kroc back in 1999 she was a guest at our national advisory organizations conference which is something that our national advisory board hosts every few years where they get to share best practices and highlight programs that are happening all around the country and encourage other advisory organizations members to come alongside the Salvation Army and do the most good. If you will. Back in January 2018.
We were joined by the Southern territorial director of crock centers Steve Carpenter. He shared some of the overall mission and purpose of these centers were then going to hear a virtual tour. We did of the Memphis Kroc Center back in October 2018 as well. As you hear in today's episode. These centers are a beacon of hope in each of the communities they serve. And while the current state of facilities like these look very different because of the response to covert, 19 we hope this episode encourages you to support these amazing centers in the work of the Salvation Army all around the world. We have with us now Steve Carpenter title is turtle Kroc director of operations in support of our divisions that support our Kroc Center and this means he oversees the seven crock centers located in the USA's southern territory which leads us to the question, what is a Kroc's interaction. That's a good question.
I'd probably say go visit one the hard to explain but in a Kroc Center to explain the amenities in most of the Kroc Center. There are indoor and/or outdoor swimming pools, fitness centers, basketball courts, performing arts, theater, worship space rental space soccer field. These are just some of the amenities provided by Kroc Center, but Steve says that the described learning centers need to understand that it's is really about relationships and people entering the doors, building relationships with the people were there. Whether it's fitness instructors people there working out with.
We had a group exercise instructor. She had back problems, and so she was out and she couldn't shed small children in her class of people came just to the group exercise in the babysitting for her bringing food for making sure she was taking care of when she was out and so not only is it people who come in the doors that are ministered to and cared for. But it's the people who work there and that really provides a great atmosphere where it's not I work here observing you but I work here because I love it and the people to come in the door to serving me as well.
The first Kroc Center was completed in 2001. You have a history of crock centers is a great story right. Kroc was founder McDonald's restaurants and he died and that in the 80s with his wife Joan Crawford was a great philanthropist and lived in San Diego and provided funding to build the first Kroc Center while she was still alive and upon her.
She had left a day and 1/2 dollars to the Salvation Army specifically for building the Salvation Army range in crop or community centers throughout the country's children so that we have in their beyond state-of-the-art fitness rooms and pools. Crock centers offer a range of classes from basic computer skills, cooking classes and even citizenship courses. Joan crock wanted crock centers to be a beacon of hope in a place were not only lower income or lower educated people were served, but where all demographics were served and the idea is that to be a place where all those demographics of people felt comfortable coming in participating in the programs rather than being a dividing line. There's a beacon of Hope award is given out annually at a crack center and it was named for Chris Hernandez. He is a personal trainer and there was a retired rescue worker who want to just exercise, and he went, but that he found out that he had kidney failure and Chris Hernandez, and that donating a kidney to an end, so that the a physically lifelong friendship together and come from very different backgrounds and very different people but the war is actually the Chris Hernandez beacon of hope for. And that's given every year to individuals who work in process. Please have have really gone above and beyond what their job description says as they do ministry and checks.
We are strategically located in the country place that really meet me and my cats have were situated have place where we can meet members and potential members in the community in ways that we can spend mission. We can spend live and facilitate bacteria, education, recreation expression, I felt brains and parties and now it's more utilized by IE so we have our afterschool programs and things like: how Bible study also found in play video games and Vikings and think that if anything after school lets out that we are house house right next door to middle school next 40 minutes you will see you calling again here went from a kindergarten streets so that's very important we do offer scholarship program for kids who need to calm me place to be immediately serviced every body box in a story we find a way for them to be back 5% of our users can solely for 11,000 members and ranks fitness and sharing and fairness every year since leaving open boxing studio, our 45 biologist on staff in the fitness department over 20 of them were recruited from members so they have a Kroc story, and now they inspire other Kroc members because of the chemist after they got here. There is a sweet spirit about this place that you just can't escape. We really text aspect and spirituality in almost everything that we do crock classes. Whether it's from children's programs or seniors programs anywhere in between. We take moments of prayer are moments of mindfulness and on with children. We went in and speak to things that relate to what they're experiencing and to show unconditional affects eggs in the fight in the final assembly simply we just need our members and I find that when people start coming more aware of their body are conditioning their physical health, chance, chance presence here hospital senior classes will be our gym lobby. They converted this again. Thanks for that we use on our soccer area that we easily sports training. I've heard it said that workout equipment is one of the best equalizers because someone treadmill is to be someone who may have a job that you know is packing boxes or moving things and you have someone who's the sea crack center Memphis is located on what used to be the fairgrounds of Memphis is very centrally located.
If you look at a map of Memphis and you cannot just point right at the center of your list with cracks and right next door to it we have any that is very poor, impoverished, and an area that's very hip.
We have an area that's very historic so right around the Kroc Center.
You hit every type of people and you see that depicted in the hallways. I think one of the great things about having a Kroc Center is that offers a whole new avenue of ministry opportunities for our people and we we have the opportunity to go and help people get the skills they need. We have a job training skills program in Augusta for adults who did not have any job skills they can get forklift, CPR, OSHA type trainings through us, that we offer. But the great thing about having a Kroc again is that it offers a whole new avenue in aspect to be able to reach a whole new demographic of people that we couldn't reach before I Accenture is a lazy river area outside our findings are all of our productions are free for you are to be involved with the exception of arson. I can't free also for community members to watch number six really need to integrate performing arts graphic I would say may not have arts programs placing the Kroc Center in that area right on the edge of downtown is is very accessible to everybody and we do have the privilege of being able to see people want to treadmill you don't even notice it but yet you have your CEO were or executive working out right next to me of a personal full scholarship to see the conversation and interaction that takes place there and that's one of our goals is to leverage those opportunities. We got these people.
I traditionally don't associate with one another in the building under the same roof. How can we leverage that to build better, stronger communities. Community serves the best way possible. Pay special thanks to everyone involved in making this story possible, Hanley Morgan shot you, Katie Veach, Chris Hall and Capt. Philip Canning if you'd like to learn more or to find out if there is a Kroc Center near you visit Kroc Center.org that's spelled KR OC center.org. The Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you.
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