New York's iconic Empire State Building was lit up red to mark Red Nose Day. Credit: Gavi/2018/Wambui Munge.
Washington, DC, 8 June 2018 – With donations still coming in, Red Nose Day USA has raised a record-breaking US$ 42 million thanks to a nationwide campaign involving both grassroot campaigners and Hollywood celebrities.
Jane Lynch, Ed Sheeran, Jack Black and Ben Stiller all starred in a three-hour telethon on NBC, hosted by Chris Hardwick, that brought the curtains down on America’s fourth Red Nose Day on 24 May.
The primetime programme included powerful films highlighting children living amid devastating poverty in Liberia, Puerto Rico, and other regions of America.
“This year’s special night of programming delivered on Red Nose Day’s signature rollercoaster of laughs and tears — shining a light on the children who need our help the most,” said Janet Scardino, CEO of Comic Relief.
In the seven weeks leading up to Red Nose Day, Americans showed their support by buying and wearing Red Noses, organising fundraising events and raising awareness of Red Nose Day in schools, businesses, sports stadiums and local communities. They also shared the message across social media with Red Nose Day USA issuing a challenge to #GoNosetoNose; this inspired a short video made by staff at Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance in Washington, DC.
Red Nose Day USA offers a fun and easy way for Americans to support partner organisations whose work in the US and globally makes a difference to the lives of countless children living in poverty.
Grantee partners work to provide water, food, medicine, safety and education to children in need around the world, addressing both immediate needs, and fostering long-term change – both to break the cycle of poverty, and provide hope for a better future. These organisations include Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; Boys & Girls Clubs of America; charity:water; City Year; Children’s Health Fund; Covenant House; Feeding America; International Rescue Committee; Laureus Sport for Good; Oxfam; Rotary; Save the Children; the Global Fund; and UnidosUS.
As one of its original grantee partners, Gavi has received millions of dollars through Red Nose Day fundraising activities. This support has helped developing countries immunise more than one million children living in sub-Saharan Africa with life-saving vaccines, protecting against pneumococcal disease, rotavirus diarrhoea, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, hepatitis B and Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib).
In its first three years, Red Nose Day USA raised more than US$ 100 million, reaching 8.3 million children in need worldwide. The record amount of money already raised in 2018 will benefit millions more. Each year, the fundraising campaign gets bigger and better through the support of the American public, corporate and grantee partners and celebrities. From a red-lit Empire State Building to raising funds and awareness in schools, offices and homes, Red Nose Day USA keeps finding new and creative ways to bring attention to some very serious and urgent issues.
Red Nose Day started in the United Kingdom in 1988. It was created by Oscar-nominated and Emmy-winning writer-director Richard Curtis (“Love Actually”) and run by Comic Relief UK, which harnesses the power of entertainment to drive positive change. Since its inception, Red Nose Day worldwide has raised more than US$ 1 billion.
At a reception on Capitol Hill on 15 May, Comic Relief, Gavi and 13 other grantee partners recognised the role of US lawmakers in supporting Red Nose Day USA. The event brought together Red Nose Day USA leadership, its grantees, and many Congressional offices to drive home the message that together, we can help break the cycle of poverty for the world’s vulnerable children.
“Since crossing over to the US in 2015, Red Nose Day USA has had a tremendous impact on the lives of children at home and abroad,” said Natasha Bilimoria, Director of US strategy for Gavi. “We are extremely grateful for the continued support of Red Nose Day USA and the American people. Thanks to their generosity, Red Nose Day can sustain programs that keep children and young people safe, healthy, educated and empowered.”