Red Nose Day: Giving Kids More to Smile About

05/19/2015 10:40 am ET | Updated May 19, 2016


Save the Children staff members Sara Bernabeo, Jeremy Soulliere and Ellen Gerstein with NBC "TODAY" show host Matt Lauer along his 230-mile bike trek to promote Red Nose Day. Photo by Susan Warner / Save the Children.

It's rare we can all have the chance to come together and share a laugh, while, at the same time, fight poverty and its detrimental impact on children in the United States and around the world.

For 30 years, Red Nose Day has been doing just that in the United Kingdom, bringing together comedians, stars from television and the silver screen, musicians and entertainers for a televised event to benefit poverty-fighting nonprofits. And this Thursday, May 21, at 8 p.m., Red Nose Day is taking a leap across the Atlantic, making its debut in the U.S.

Save the Children is excited and honored it has been chosen as one of the 12 nonprofits to benefit from this first-ever U.S. television special on NBC, which will support our efforts to ensure all kids have a healthy start in life, a quality education and protection from harm.

Red Nose Day is the only time A-list actors, comedians and musicians like Julia Roberts, Will Ferrell, Julianne Moore, John Legend, Save the Children Trustee Jennifer Garner and many more will take part in stand-up acts, sketch comedy, parodies and music performances - all to help meet the immediate needs of the poorest children living in the U.S. and throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America.

The energy of Red Nose Day has also spread beyond the televised event itself. NBC "TODAY" show host Matt Lauer embarked on a 230-mile bike ride this past Sunday to raise money and awareness for the fundraiser. His trek kicked off from Boston's Fenway Park, and ends this Thursday - Red Nose Day - at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. Save the Children staff, family and friends cheered Matt on along his route through Connecticut on Monday, all proudly wearing red noses.

Red Nose Day is certainly putting the "fun" in fundraising, and if there's one thing that connects kids all around the globe, it's laughter. From my visits to classrooms in Haiti to playgrounds in Appalachia, it's evident that laughter is the universal language of all children.

Through Red Nose Day, and the belly laughs it's sure to generate, we can all give children living in poverty more to smile about.