Red Nose Day Returns to NBC on May 23 to Combat Child Poverty
“When we brought Red Nose Day to America, my hope was that we could inspire people to realize we can all truly make a difference for kids living really tough lives — and have fun doing so.”
Some of Hollywood’s biggest stars will join together on May 23 for an annual fun-filled television special to help end child poverty.
Originally starting in Great Britain in 1988, Red Nose Day was launched in the U.S. in 2015 and has raised nearly $150 million with the help of millions of Americans, celebrities, and business endorsements.
Although the cause is serious, its creators wanted to bring a memorable, lighthearted touch to draw people in — “to create connections and break through barriers”, hence the red nose that is worn by celebrities involved with the campaign.
The roots of this funny symbol also stemmed from the campaign’s original creators, who were comedy writers — Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning comedy writer/director Richard Curtis (Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill) and comedian Lenny Henry.
They founded a British charity named Comic Relief, which was known for its biennial telethon, Red Nose Day. Their original intent was to bring attention to famine in Ethiopia, using their talents for comedy and entertainment.
“When we brought Red Nose Day to America, my hope was that we could inspire people to realize we can all truly make a difference for kids living really tough lives — and have fun doing so,” said co-founder Curtis in a press release.
The actual red nose can now be purchased at Walgreens stores, an official sponsor of Red Nose Day. Over 40 million of them have already been sold since 2015.
This year, Jack Black, Retta, and Jennifer Grey are some of the stars that will be part of the three-hour special airing on NBC to bring awareness of the campaign. In the past three years, over 450 celebrities have lent their support to the special.
Funds from this annual event have already helped over 16 million children — in every U.S. state, as well as Puerto Rico and around the world in some of the neediest communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia.
According to the Red Nose Day website, the funds have specifically helped provide educational services to more than 960,000 children, care for over 75,000 homeless children, and provide over 36 million meals for hungry American children.
Also listed on the website are troubling statistics that they are seeking to remedy: for example, over 2 million children are homeless every year in the U.S.A.
Shopping on the website is a great way to contribute directly to the campaign; items for purchase include tees, tote bags, mugs, and more.
Red Nose Day has continued partnerships with Comcast NBCUniversal, Walgreens, Mars Wrigley Confectionery, and The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to support millions of children in America and around the world.
Tune in May 23 at 8 PM/7PM Central Time on NBC, to watch the Red Nose Day special, followed by a special Red Nose Day edition of “Hollywood Game Night.”