Happy Red Nose Day. But, What is it?

Happy Red Nose Day. But, What is it?

What is Red Nose Day?

Red Nose Day is a fundraising campaign with the aim to eradicate child poverty around the world. It is run by a non-profit organization Comic Relief.

Now, what is Comic Relief?

Comic Relief is a British charity, founded in 1985 by the scriptwriter Richard Curtis and comedian Lenny Henry in response to famine in Ethiopia. Curtis received the BAFTA Humanitarian Award at the 2008 Britannia Awards, for co-creating Comic Relief.

A fundamental principle behind working at Comic Relief is the "Golden Pound Principle" where every single donated pound (£) is spent on charitable projects. All operating costs, such as staff salaries, are covered by corporate sponsors, or interest earned on money waiting to be distributed.

Back to Red Nose Day

Comic Relief UK launched Red Nose Day in the UK, on 5 February 1988. On this Day, television partners of Comic Relief host a telethon - a televised fundraising event that lasts many hours or even days. And, in the case of Red Nose Day, the telethon means non-stop comedy on TV for the day. Since 1988, the campaign has raised more than $1 billion globally. 

Numerous notable celebrities participate in the fundraising event. Some prominent names who have presented the Day in the past are; Adam Buxton (2003), Jonathan Ross (2001–13), Russell Brand (2007, 2013), Alan Carr (2009–13), Joe Cornish (2003), Bob Mortimer (2003), Jeremy Clarkson (2007), and Jimmy Carr (2011) 

Red Nose Day in the U.S.

Red Nose Day came to America in 2015, with plans to organize it every year. In 2017, it is held on Thursday May 25, 2017.

Since its launch in the U.S., it has raised over $60 million, which has benefited children and young people in the United states, and 25 countries internationally.

Half of the funds raised in 2017 will be spent in America, and the other half in some of the poorest communities in Latin America, Africa and Asia. 

What does one do on Red Nose Day?

Lots of things. You can buy a Red Nose from at Walgreens and Duane Reade drugstores. You can also donate money on their site, rednosedayusa.org. The donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.  Or, you can organize a fundraiser. And spread the word on social media using the hashtag #RedNoseDay.

Comic Relief has partnered with NBC, which is airing several special programs on the evening: 

  • Celebrity Ninja Warrior at 8 p.m. ET/PT
  • In Running Wild with Bear Grylls at 9 p.m. ET/PT. The host Bear Grylls takes actress Julia Roberts to Kenya on a quest to deliver vaccines.
  • The Red Nose Day Special, hosted by comedian Chris Hardwick at 10 p.m. ET.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is matching donations to the cause made on Facebook up to total of $1 million. The full list of their partners is available here.

What does Comic Relief do with the money collected?

Of each dollar you pay to buy a red nose, 50 cents goes to charity, and the other half covers the cost of producing the nose. The money collected is used to provide the underprivileged children, food, healthcare, shelter, education, clean water, etc.

Red Nose lists all the ways they help, in detail on their website.

  • $1 can provide 11 meals for hungry children through Feeding America food banks, according to Feeding America.
  • $10 can provide essential immunizations for a child in need, according to Children's Health Fund.
  • $10 helps provide a safe place for an at-risk child in America to go during the summer and after school, according to the Boys & Girls Club of America.
  • $30 can provide one person with access to clean water in Uganda, according to charity: water.
  • $50 can provide one year's tuition, supplies, and textbooks for a child in a developing country, according to Save the Children.
  • $100 provides food, clothing, shelter, and medical care to help get a child off the street, according to Covenant House.
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