The Sunoco Foundation has pledged $1 million to the $30 million fundraising campaign to build and operate a Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in North Philadelphia, officials announced today. When completed in 2010, The Salvation Army Kroc Center will be the single largest social services investment in Philadelphia's history, exceeding $100 million.
In honor of the gift, the area of the Center dedicated to educational programming, which will provide after-school and enrichment programs to children and teens, will be named The Sunoco Foundation Learning Center.
“Approximately thirty five percent of North Philadelphia residents live below poverty level and more than sixty seven percent are single parent homes. The Sunoco Foundation Learning Center will build a better economic future for North Philadelphia families bringing hope to a new generation of at-risk children,” said Mary Capetola, President of The Sunoco Foundation.
Capetola traveled to San Diego this past February to visit the nation's first Salvation Army Kroc Center. She saw firsthand the impact it made, transforming a troubled neighborhood and putting the community on a path to a positive future. She said she hopes other corporations will follow suit to make the North Philadelphia Center a reality. “Greater collaboration among all stakeholders – corporations, private citizens and non-profit organizations will fully leverage the impact of our investment in the community.”
The Philadelphia Salvation Army Kroc Center is projected to bring $1.3 million in revenue to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through 2012. Construction-related and ongoing operational expenditures will contribute to the local and state economies and spur additional business in the region.
With $20 million of the $30 million campaign secured, The Salvation Army moves closer to ensuring that the Center will have the ability to serve generations to come. Joan Kroc, widow of McDonald's founder Ray Kroc, provided a $72 million challenge grant to partially fund the construction and operation of a Center in Philadelphia. Challenged to raise an additional $30 million to ensure project completion and long-term sustainability, The Salvation Army engaged Raymond Welsh, Senior Vice President for Investments at UBS Financial Services, to chair the fundraising campaign. In addition to The Sunoco Foundation gift, leadership donors include: The Pew Charitable Trusts, The Phoebe W. Haas Trust, and local philanthropists John and Josephine Templeton (of Bryn Mawr, PA), H.F. “Gerry” Lenfest (of Huntingdon Valley, PA), Robert and Joyce Byers (of Chalfont, PA) and Raymond and Joanne Welsh (of Haverford, PA) among others.
“Pew is honored to support The Salvation Army Kroc Center and knows it will be an invaluable resource for the community. The Salvation Army's plans ensure that it will serve families most in need with high-quality programs for years to come,” said Rebecca Rimel, President and CEO of The Pew Charitable Trusts.
Philadelphia is one of 30 cities in the nation and eight on the east coast to be a selected site for a Salvation Army Kroc Center. San Francisco recently opened the nation's second. Located at 4200 Wissahickon Avenue in the Nicetown/Tioga section of North Philadelphia, on 12.4 acres of land, the 120,000 square-foot facility will be an inspirational symbol of caring, an investment in hope, and a tool for change. The North Philadelphia Center is expected to serve between 750-1,000 people per day, doubling the amount of services that The Army currently provides in the city.
The Center's skills development/job readiness programs and special educational initiatives, including literacy programs, computer literacy programs, adult education classes, GED courses and life skills workshops, will give residents the most important resources needed to transform their lives. It will draw at-risk youth off the streets by offering educational, recreational and performing arts programs in a safe, positive environment. In addition, The Salvation Army Kroc Center will act as a central location for numerous non-profit organizations to work collaboratively under one roof to provide integrated services to the underserved population.
The Salvation Army Kroc Center will be, by 2010, the next iconic project to signal Philadelphia's rise –addressing the neediest of our population to ensure that they contribute positively to the city's future.
“The Salvation Army Kroc Center will be a tremendous asset to the residents of North Philadelphia and will provide a wonderful stimulus to the overall plans for revitalization," said Mayor Nutter. "The services provided by The Salvation Army are incredibly important, providing much-needed support to some of the most vulnerable people in our community. We are very grateful to The Sunoco Foundation for their generous gift of $1 million to this campaign that brings the Center closer to its goal of raising $30 million. I hope that other business leaders follow their example and support this important project which will benefit Philadelphians most in need of help and support.”
For more information about The Salvation Army Ray & Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, please visit www.SalvationArmyKrocCenter.org.
About The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia:
The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia is a faith-based, comprehensive human service organization whose programs help individuals, families and whole communities lead healthier, safer, and more productive lives. The Salvation Army is equipped to respond to both acute disasters such as fires and floods as well as the daily, ongoing struggles of the region's less fortunate individuals. The Salvation Army has a 127-year track record of success stemming from its holistic approach to providing for the needs of the whole individual – physically, emotionally, economically and spiritually. The Salvation Army's programming operates from 17 community centers and residential facilities throughout the Philadelphia region offering shelter, hot meals, counseling, early childhood development, job training, recreational opportunities, music programs, after-school arts and educational programs, activities for older adults, spiritual development, and drug rehabilitation. For more information, please visit www.SalvationArmyPhiladelphia.org.
About The Sunoco Foundation:
The Sunoco Foundation is the corporate philanthropy arm of Sunoco, Inc. (NYSE:SUN), the Philadelphia-based oil refiner, gasoline retailer, petrochemical and coke producer. For more information, please visit www.sunocoinc.com.