It’s Red Nose Day — A fabulously funny way to help serious causes

The annual event (part of a year-long initiative) will culminate tonight with three hours of special programming airing on NBC, starting at 7 p.m.

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Monique McGowan (from left), Elijah Whitaker and Michell Hunter from Covenant House Newark, performed at “Step Up to the Mic: An Evening of Comedy with M&M’S in Support of Red Nose Day,” on Monday, May 13, 2019, in Newark, N.J.

Diane Bondareff/AP Images for M&M’S

If you notice folks sporting a big, round, red nose today, be sure to smile, and know that their silly getup is doing a whole lotta good.

That’s because today is Red Nose Day, a global fundraising effort that aims to end child poverty by raising money and awareness for kids in the U.S. and around the world. 

The non-profit Comic Relief, which uses comedy to raise money for disadvantaged people, launched Red Nose Day in the United Kingdom in 1988. Since then, the day has raised more than $1 billion globally. 

Red Nose Day, launched in the U.S. in 2015, has since raised nearly $150 million. That money has benefited children and young people in all 50 states, as well as 25 countries.

The money raised through the sale of the red noses, available at Walgreen’s for $2, “supports programs that ensure children in need are safe, healthy and educated, both in America and around the world,” according to rednoseday.org. In fact, according to the organization, proceeds from the red noses campaign (which includes massive corporate sponsorship as well) has provided educational services to more than 960,000 children; more than 13 million essential medical services for children; care for over 75,000 homeless and street children; and over 36 million meals to feed hungry American children.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch supports Red Nose Day by swimming in cold water for Mental Health programs on March 15, 2019 in London, England.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch supports Red Nose Day by swimming in cold water for Mental Health programs on March 15, 2019 in London, England.

Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images

The annual event (part of a year-long initiative) will culminate tonight with three hours of special programming airing on NBC, starting at 7 p.m. Celebrities scheduled to participate in some fashion across the three-hour TV fundraising span (which includes a special edition of “Celebrity Game Night”) include Kelly Clarkson, Blake Shelton, Julia Roberts, John Legend, Sting, Josh Groban, Reba McEntire, Hall and Oates, Ben Stiller, Kate McKinnon, Lilly Singh, Milo Ventimiglia, Julianne Hough, Chrissy Metz, Jennifer Garner, Terry Crews and more.

Contributing: USA Today

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