Red Nose Day raises money to ensure that kids in all 50 US states, as well as those in the poorest communities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America, are safe, healthy, educated, and empowered. Red Nose Day is more than a special day to have some fun, it's a great way to come together with others to end child poverty....one red nose at a time.
It all began in 1985 when Comic Relief was launched in the United Kingdom. Their goal was to use comedy to raise money and awareness for something that wasn't very laughable; poverty. They wanted to help create a world free from poverty. The very first Red Nose Day was held in 1988. Millions of people participated that first year and it became clear that "clowning around" could help the worlds poorest kids live a better life.
Did you know that with every fundraiser held, TV special aired, partner enlisted, and Red Nose sold, the movement continues to grow and gain momentum? Today, the Red Nose Day program has raised over $1 billion globally. Since 2015, Red Nose Day America has raised over $60 million to help kids and young people most in need.
Here are some sobering facts about why Red Nose Day is so important. In the US alone there are over 15 million children living in poverty. That's 21% of all the kids in America. The childhood poverty rate in the United States is much higher than it is in other developed countries. Only Mexico, Israel, Turkey, and Greece have higher childhood poverty rates. Globally, children account for nearly half of the world's extreme poor. Recent data shows that 47% of those living in extreme poverty are under the age of 18 years. All over the world, children are more likely to live in poverty than adults. And only one-third of the world's poorest are covered by any kind of social protection. And that is why it is so important to help give these kids a real sense of hope for a better life. They can't do it alone. They need your help.
My family is very lucky. We are well-fed and have a nice place to live. My brother and I, my parents, and grandparents were give the opportunity to receive a quality education. We have what we need to thrive and to contribute to the betterment of our society. Sadly, so many others are not as fortunate. I hope you'll buy a Red Nose today, if you haven't done so already (they're only $1 each) and you'll wear it proudly. Clowning around is a lot of fun and it does bring attention to the staggering statistics of childhood poverty all around the globe. Won't you help a kid today have a brighter future tomorrow?
And who knows? Maybe next year, Dad, Quigley, Jr. and I may even get my mom to join in the fun. I think she'd look pretty swell sporting a big red nose...and it'll even match her red lipstick! (But don't tell her I said that!) And please don't forget to use #RedNoseDay on all your social media.