Now, more than ever, with all that’s happening in our world, so many Americans need a little help. Because of this, the TODAY show's Al Roker is once again hitting the pavement and traveling across the country to lend a hand.
For the sixth year in a row, Al is scheduled to travel the country with a large truck filled with goods that meet the needs of five different charities across the U.S.
Learn more about the organizations he visits and how you can help:
Day 1: San Diego, California
Organization: Aquatic Adventures
2211 Pacific Beach Drive, STE ASan Diego, CA 92109Phone: 858.488.3849Contact: Shara Fisler - Exec. director
Aquatic Adventures provides educational programs to over 90 San Diego schools about marine life. They also have a mentoring program that "provides educational programs that connect underserved youth to science, inspire environmental action, and increase exposure to marine habitats." They do extensive work in the labs they have at their facility, learning about what is in their own backyard and how it impacts the environment, but they also go out on field trips on boats, to the beach, etc. to actually see first-hand the things they have learned about in the classroom or after school. Many of these kids have never been to the beach or learned to swim.www.aquaticadventures.org
The donors: Ocean Enterprises, Nike, Columbia Sportswear Company, Office Depot, Sea World, Birch Aquarium At The Scripps Institute, General Mills, Sara Lee, Penske
Day 2: Salt Lake City, Utah
Organization: Wasatch Adaptive Sports
Snowbird Ski and Summer ResortHighway 210, Little Cottonwood CanyonSnowbird, Utah 84092Phone: (801) 933-2188E-mail: email@example.com
Wasatch Adaptive Sports (WAS) was established in 1977 to help fill the need for affordable recreational and educational programs for children and adults with special needs. Most programs available today are financially out of reach for many families and individuals. WAS does not turn anyone away, requires no initial fee, and provides full or partial scholarships so all can participate, regardless of their financial situation. Our programs build strength, stamina and self-esteem while enhancing the quality of life for all our participants. WAS operates year-round and provides many rewarding activities including skiing, snowshoeing and adaptive hockey in the winter; hiking, fishing, orienteering, bicycling, tram rides and frequent special events during the summer, and adaptive horseback riding and bowling on a year-round basis. Primary Children's Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Salt Lake Valley Mental Health are among the many facilities and individuals participating in our program.
The donors: Columbia Sportswear Company, Quickie Wheelchairs, Office Depot, Chrysler Group, Sara Lee, Dynastar, Rossignol, Penske
Day 3: Fargo, North Dakota
Organization: Project Linus4708 McMahon Estates CourtWest Fargo, ND 58078
Project Linus is a 100 percent volunteer non-profit organization, whose mission is to provide warmth, comfort, and a sense of security to children and adults who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need of "a big hug." Project Linus provides this warmth, comfort, etc., through gifts of new handmade blankets and afghans that are created by volunteer "blanketeers."
Blankets are made and collected locally and distributed in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies — even the police department.
The donors: Office Depot, Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores, Janome, Sara Lee, Penske
Day 4: Nashville, TN
Organization: W. O. Smith Music School
1416 Edgehill AveNashville, TN 37212615-255-8355
The W.O. Smith/Nashville Community Music School, founded in 1984, is a nonprofit educational institution created for the purpose of making quality music instruction available to talented, interested, deserving children from low income families at the nominal fee of 50 cents a lesson. The school also seeks to encourage student participation in the cultural life of the community through concert attendance and performance.
Instruction is provided by a 100-member volunteer faculty of area musicians from many elements of the Nashville music scene: studio musicians, symphony players, college professors, public school teachers, church musicians, private teachers and university students. These individuals each donate one to four hours a week to teach their students.
Over 350 students, age 7 to 18, representing academic schools from across Metro Davidson County and the middle Tennessee area, participate in over 500 different courses. Students must qualify for the reduced or free lunch program in the Metro schools to take lessons.
The donors: Office Depot, Nike, Columbia, Gibson foundation, Sara Lee, Penske
DAY 5: Wilmington, Delaware
Organization: West End Neighborhood House
302-658-4171710 North Lincoln StreetWilmington, DE 19805
West End Neighborhood House has a 15-year-old Drill Team known as the "Hy Steppers." Their floor routines are very much like gymnastics, dance, fraternity/sorority stepping and include precision movements. There are 30 girls (and now boys) involved ranging in age from 6 to 18 and they are all "at-risk." The drill team just started up again this year after a long hiatus after the woman running the program became ill and could no longer do the floor routines. The drill team used to win a lot of awards and trophies.
The group performed for Bill Cosby last week when he visited the center to speak to the youth who are served there. They are now trying to add a Drum Corps.
The evening Youth Services Program serves urban youth, ages eight to 18, by providing organized team sports, leadership training, awareness programs, educational/recreational trips and much more. This program is open Friday and Saturday nights and is designed to prevent school dropouts, drug and alcohol abuse, smoking, and teenage pregnancy among high-risk youth.
The donors: Smith Walbridge Band Products, Director's Showcase, Nike, Columbia Sportswear Company, Office Depot, Hasbro, Microsoft, Sports Authority, Nintendo, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey, Penske, Southwest Airlines