Red Nose Day: Getting a bit silly for an important cause…ending child poverty

By Dr. Orin Levine

May 24, 2018

It may be strange to see lots of people wearing rubber noses this week, but rest assured there’s a good reason behind it. Thursday, May 24th is Red Nose Day, the annual event when people across the country get a bit silly for an important cause—to raise funds and awareness to end child poverty.

This year, I’m wearing my red nose in good cheer and donating to the campaign, and I happily invite you to do the same.

Child poverty affects more than 20 percent of children across the globe and causes close to a billion children to lack one or more basic necessities—like adequate food, shelter, health and education. As a parent and vaccine advocate, I care about ending child poverty so that all kids get a chance to live a healthy and happy life. Helping kids have access to vaccines ensures that they can start out on the best footing possible.

Living in the United States, I feel fortunate that my kids were able to get all of their basic vaccines as babies, protecting them against deadly diseases like pneumonia, measles, and whooping cough. Not all kids are so lucky, especially those in the world’s poorest communities.

Globally, one in seven children don’t have access to the vaccines they need to grow up to live healthy, productive lives.

Since Comic Relief founded the Red Nose Day campaign the late 1980s it has raised more than $1 billion—with $100 million from the last three years alone! This money goes to important organizations and initiatives that tackle child poverty and benefit the lives of kids around the world—all thanks to a simple, yet powerful campaign infused with fun and humor.

You can make a huge impact on a child’s life by donating to the campaign: $5 can help provide medical supplies and key vaccines for a child’s visit to the doctor. And $10 can help give a child a safe place to stay during the summer, or textbooks for a class of students. No matter the amount, big or small, your donation will mean a lot for a child somewhere.

You can also support Red Nose Day online to bring even more attention to the cause. Check out the Red Nose Day website and post your favorite photos on social media wearing your red nose and using the hashtags #RedNoseDay and #NosesOn. That way you can have a direct hand in helping to keep millions of children safe, healthy and educated.

This year, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is also playing a role and partnering with Comic Relief and companies like Walgreens and Mars to raise the next $100 million in support of programs that reach kids in greatest need across the world.  The funds raised by Red Nose Day will go to great organizations working to help kids every day, including the Boys & Girls Club of America, Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, Save the Children, Rotary International, and the International Rescue Committee.

So please join me this Red Nose Day in proudly showing your smiling, red-nosed faces. Together, we can all #GoNoseToNose to help children in need.

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