SEATTLE, Washington — Red Nose Day is a tradition that started in Britain in 1988. The campaign uses fun entertainment as well as celebrity appearances to create an annual fundraising special each spring. Comic Relief USA started the Red Nose Day USA campaign in 2015. The organization strives to help those in need around the world. Red Nose Day is specifically aimed at ending child poverty. In five years, Red Nose Day USA had improved the lives of more than 25 million children by raising $200 million with the help of “millions of Americans, celebrities and businesses.” Below are just some of the many Red Nose Day USA celebrity supporters.
This year’s U.S. Red Nose Day campaign will begin on April 13 until May 21 when NBC will broadcast the special. Red Noses go on sale at Walgreens and Duane Reade a month before the special airs. Along with donations, half of the proceeds go to programs supporting children living in poverty in America. The other half goes to programs supporting children living in poverty internationally.
Top 5 Red Nose Day USA Celebrity Supporters
- Ed Sheeran: Singer/songwriter Ed Sheeran visited Liberia in 2017 to celebrate the occasion. Sheeran met with homeless and parentless children in the country. He also appeared in both a comedy sketch and a performance of his song, “What Do I Know?” In a moving segment, Sheeran met with an orphaned boy named JD who was sleeping on a dangerous beach every night since his mother had died of Ebola. Sheeran assured that he was not leaving Liberia until JD and his friends were safe in a shelter with proper education.
- Paul Rudd: Actor Paul Rudd visited a food bank and worked with volunteers in Waterville, Maine to gear up for the 2017 event. Rudd also spoke with kids at the Alfond Youth Center in the town to learn more about child food insecurity from kids themselves. Just the year before, Rudd committed to donating $5,000 for every three-pointer that basketball superstar Blake Griffin could make in three minutes. He donated $100,000.
- Julia Roberts: In 2017, actress Julia Roberts along with survival instructor Bear Grylls visited a remote area of Kenya for Red Nose Day. The two delivered polio and rotavirus vaccines to children. They also visited and talked with mothers of babies that had died of pneumonia.
- Jack Black: For the first-ever Red Nose Day, actor and comedian Jack Black met with children in Uganda in 2015. Though Black says he was hesitant at first to go through with the visit to Kampala, Uganda’s capital, he was quickly touched by the story of a boy he met named Felix. Felix collected glass and metal to raise money for food. Though homeless for three years, a program sponsored by Red Nose Day began helping Felix after Black’s visit.
- Kate McKinnon: SNL breakout star Kate McKinnon participated in multiple comedy sketches for Red Nose Day in 2019. This year she returned in a video segment to give tips on how to participate in Red Nose Day’s second annual Joke-Ha-Thon. The Joke-Ha-Thon is a fundraiser where students tell their best jokes to raise money for the cause. Hasbro matches all donations up to $50,000.
Red Nose Day has made a large impact on the lives of children all around the world living in poverty, and this would not be possible without the many Red Nose Day USA celebrity supporters. Celebrities continuing to use their platforms to help the less fortunate is a major way to help continue to make progress in eliminating global poverty.
– Alyson Kaufman