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‘Lend a Hand’ helps those in need

TODAY's Al Roker packs up his truck and hits the road once again to "Lend a Hand" in San Francisco, Calif., Bozeman, Mont., Des Moines, Iowa, Memphis, Tenn., and Rye, N.H.
/ Source: TODAY

With the hard-hit economy, many Americans are in need of a little help this year.

That's why TODAY's Al Roker is packing up the Penske truck once again to hit the road for the annual "Lend a Hand" trip. In its ninth consecutive year, "Lend a Hand" continues its mission to help small charities across the country that work toward improving conditions in their communities. Roker’s goodwill road trip kicks off in San Francisco, Calif. The trip continues throughout the week in Bozeman, Mont. (Tuesday), Des Moines, Iowa (Wednesday), Memphis, Tenn. (Thursday), and Rye, N.H. (Friday). This year, one special surprise charity located in a city in need will receive a “Lend a Hand” donation.

Learn more about the organizations he visits and how you can help:

Day 1: San Francisco, CaliforniaOrganization: ROCK (Real Options for City Kids)

Curt Yagi, executive director 415-333-4001 ext. 1

The donors: Jansport,Target, Gymboree, Toys R Us, 24 Hour Fitness,HP, Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, Golden State Warriors, United Airlines, Hyundai, Expo Dry Erase Markers, Wells Fargo, Columbia Sportswear Company, Nathan Performance Gear, Old Navy, Squaw Valley USA, Naked Juice, Funky Monkey Snacks, Marvell, Microsoft Office 2010 Student Software, Vans, Penske, Dyson, Sara Lee, Kiehl's (The company that loves to give away samples), Home Goods, Glidden Paint, Two Men and a Truck, Storquest. United Airlines: To donate miles and learn more about how you can help, you can visit:
Real Options for City Kids (ROCK)
is a San Francisco-based charity dedicated to nurturing the healthy development of children. They are committed to providing active learning opportunities to those who might not otherwise have access to such programs. ROCK aims to promote the positive development and long-term success of the youth that it serves through a combination of in-school and after school learning enrichment, sports and fitness, leadership training and outdoor adventure opportunities. ROCK's programs are designed to serve girls and boys, ages 6-17, who live in or attend school in San Francisco's Visitacion Valley. For more on ROCK, you can visit:

Day 2: Bozeman, MontanaOrganization: Eagle Mount

Mary Peterson, executive director(406) 586-1781

The donors:
M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, Powerdish By Infinia, De Rham Family Trust, Big Sky Resort, General Motors Foundation, Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply, United Airlines, Expo Dry Erase Markers, Frigidaire, John Deere, Kainz Family Foundation, Rossignol Group, Head Wintersports USA, Standlee Hay Company, Sherwin-Williams Paint, Troxel Helmets, Backyard Discovery National Recreation Systems, Handi-Ramp, Winston Fly Fishing Rods, Kelty, Sara Lee, Dyson, Tom Brokaw, Glidden Paint, Strong Hold Fabrication, AAA.United Airlines: To donate miles and learn more about how you can help, you can visit:

Eagle Mount creates therapeutic recreational opportunities for people of all ages and disabilities. Through Eagle Mount, persons with special needs are challenged to achieve the previously unthinkable in skiing, ice skating, swimming, horseback riding, golfing and more. Children with cancer are given the freedom of normalcy by participating in one of three summer camps. Through the use of nature, activities, equine therapy and just good old outdoor fun, children and adults are offered life-changing opportunities as well as the chance to move beyond their personal disability and "soar like eagles."

For more on Eagle Mount, you can visit:

Day 3: Des Moines, IowaOrganization: Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC)

Contact:Jim McWeeny515-883-2379

The donors:
Procter & Gamble Brands Bounty and Charmin, Conagra Foods, Ethan Allen, Western Union, Johnson & Johnson, Heart to Heart International, United Airlines, Principal Financial Group, Expo Dry Erase Markers, Gymboree, Frigidaire, Nike, Columbia Sportswear Company, Safety 1st, Huggies Every Little Bottom, Plackers, JCPenney,, Interstate All Battery Center, Munchkin, Van's Natural Foods, Unilever Brands Vaseline, Caress, Dove, Q-Tips, Suave, Skippy, Bridgestone Americas And Firestone Complete Auto Care, Cici's Pizza, Sara Lee, Penske, Purex 3-In-1 Laundry Sheets, Glidden Paint, Costco Wholesale, Two Men and A Truck, Iowa State Fair, Budget Storage Rentals.United Airlines: To donate miles and learn more about how you can help, you can visit:

Iowa Homeless Youth Centers (IHYC) works to eliminate homelessness among children, youth and young mothers in Polk County. With citizen support and assistance, IHYC helps homeless individuals and families live independently and attain self-sufficiency. More information on IHYC can be found at:

Iowa Homeless Youth Center programs include: Street Outreach, Buchanan Transitional Living Program, Lighthouse Host Home, Family Futures Program, and Aftercare Program.

Youth and Shelter Services (YSS), IHYC's parent organization is in the business of changing lives, giving hope and improving odds by ensuring that youth have access to safety, guidance and caring adults. Each year, more than 7,000 youth are impacted through the opportunities YSS offers. More importantly, YSS is helping to instill values in these young people that they will carry with them for their entire lives; values like self-reliance, forgiveness and respect for others and themselves.

Day 4: Memphis, TennesseeOrganization: New Ballet SchoolContact:
Carrie Pohlman Vaughan, director of developmentNew Ballet Ensemble and School901-726-9225 ext 224The donors:
Capezio, Kool Aid, Ace Hardware, General Motors Foundation, United Airlines, Expo Dry Erase Markers, American Harlequin, Aspenhome, Genesis Today, Columbia Sportswear Company, Nordictrack/Sears, Memphis Grizzlies, Swiffer, Frigidaire, Brita And Emergen-C, Tigi Haircare, Levitt Pavilions, Community, Through Music, Essence Cosmetics, Secret Deodorant, Caesarstone, Office Max, Philadelphia Insurance, Penske, Nike, Sara Lee, LA Looks/Smooth N Shine, Glidden Paint, Two Men And A Truck, U-Store-It.United Airlines: To donate miles and learn more about how you can help, you can visit:

New Ballet School
brings a diverse population of students together by providing a professional standard of training, regardless of the ability to pay. New Ballet Ensemble is the professional company of performers who appear on the main stage and in our schools where students are engaged, educated and recruited for scholarships in the New Ballet School. To learn more about New Ballet School, you can visit:

Day 4: Nashville, TennesseeOrganization: Hands on Nashville

Lisa Davis Purcell, director of external affairs209 10th Avenue South, Suite 318Nashville, TN 37203(615) 298-1108 x 108

The donors:Lowe's, Lexington Home Brands, Glidden Professional, Ford Company Motors, 1800mattress.Com, Columbia Sportswear, EZ Armor Door Security System.United Airlines: To donate miles and learn more about how you can help, you can visit:

Since 1991, Hands On Nashville (HON) has worked each day to match volunteers with community need. In 2009, HON connected 38,969 volunteers to service opportunities in over 300 nonprofits, government agencies, and schools.

In response to the flooding disaster in Tennessee, Hands On Nashville's impact has become far greater. Between May 2 and today, HON has placed over 15,000 volunteers in recovery service, making a $1.3 million economic impact through human capital. In the months ahead, HON will continue to dedicate significant resources to the community's rebuilding effort. To learn more about Hands On Nashville, you can visit:

Day 5: Rye, New HampshireOrganization: The Seacoast Science Center

Wendy W. LullPresidentSeacoast Science Center570 Ocean Blvd.Rye, NH 03870-2104Voice: 603-436-8043 ext. 15

The donors:
National Geographic, Oral B, Toyota, United Airlines, Discovery Channel/Discovery Kids, Expo Dry Erase Markers, Scubapro, Columbia Sportswear, TD Bank, Boston Celtics, Seaworld, Hasbro, Yamaha Motor Corp USA, BJ's Wholesale Club, Cumberland Farms, Gulf Oil Group of Companies, Kenmore Appliances/Sears, The 50th Anniversary Of 1 Fish, 2 Fish, Dover Eagle Self Storage, Honest Tea, Garnet Hill, Caesarstone, Lizzie and Jonathan Tisch Foundation, Johnson Outdoors, Ocean Kayak and Old Town Canoe, Sara Lee, Penske, Ace Hardware, Interstate All Battery Center, Dyson, Instant Ocean Marine Aquarium Salt, Petco, Bae Systems, Glidden Paint, Atlantic Aqua Sports.United Airlines: To donate miles and learn more about how you can help, you can visit:

The Seacoast Science Center is a place for families and students to learn about coastal environmental history through "connections to nature through personal learning experiences in the natural sciences." They provide engaging and interactive programs and exhibits. There are seven very different habitats surrounding the center. Their exhibits and programs are designed for all ages, from pre-K to adults.

United donates 1 million miles to ”Lend a Hand”United Airlines is joining the TODAY show in support of programs that inspire discovery, learning and hope for young people across the country.

United has donated one million Mileage Plus® Miles to the ”Lend a Hand” organizations featured on TODAY. Join them by supporting their missions with your own donation of miles. To donate miles and learn more about how you can help, you can visit: