Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Go Inside the Salvation Army Community Centers


Everyone knows The Salvation Army. In the least, we recognize the annual Christmas kettle drive and know they do a lot of great work all over the country and the world.

But their work in recreation community centers wasn't really on a lot of people's radars locally until The Salvation Army showed interest in reopening the local recreation center shuttered by the YMCA.

The review committees paid a visit to The Salvation Army's San Francisco center as part of the research done into selecting a new partner to operate our local center. Committee members were very impressed with what they saw, especially considering the SF Center is located in the Tenderloin District.

The San Francisco center is one of The Salvation Army's Kroc Centers, a network of community centers created through a massive $1.5 billion endowment from Ray and Joan Kroc, the founders of McDonald's. The Kroc Centers are truly impressive; definitely Cadillac examples of what recreation-based community centers can be when they are built from the ground-up on large tracts of land. The Salvation Army runs these centers at a very high service standard.

That's the important part for any future relationship here in Suisun City. The center on Pintail Avenue at East Wigeon likely will never be a full-blown Kroc Center. But that same approach, commitment and outlook would be applied here in Suisun City on a somewhat smaller scale.

Daily Republic reporter Ian Thompson and photographer Brad Zweerink toured the San Francisco center this week and filed their report in Thursday's paper. >>Check out the Daily Republic web site for a peak inside the center.>>

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