It's Red Nose Day: What it means and how local schools are participating

In three years, Red Nose Day has raised over $100 million for kids in need

ROANOKE, Va. – Today is Red Nose Day, a chance to raise more than just awareness but money to help kids in poverty. In all, 15 million children or about 21 percent of all kids in the United States, live in poverty. 

What is Red Nose Day?

It's a fundraising campaign for Comic Relief Inc., which is dedicated to ending child poverty in the United States and some of the poorest communities in the world.

For those in the organization, child poverty doesn't just mean a lack of resources or money- but also hunger, an inability to receive education or healthcare and a number of other problems.

How long has it been around?

In 2015 the Red Nose Day Campaign made its way to the U.S. (from the UK, where it started in 1985). Since then, the organization has raised more than $100 million in its first three years.

That money has helped more than eight million children living in poverty.

Why red noses?

The noses bring a playful aspect to the cause. Since the red noses are typically associated with clowns, Red Nose Day was created to bring some lightheartedness to a cause that is typically difficult to talk about.

Are events happening locally?

Events are happening at schools all over our area, like Preston Park Elementary School in Roanoke City.

Traci Scales, mom to a third grader at the school, has been making donations for Red Nose Day for several years. Since her son was in kindergarten, Scales has brought enough of the red noses so that each student in his class and all of the teachers in the school can wear one of the day. She says it's a chance to teach her son and his friends what it means to give back.

"It's going to help poverty, it's going to provide nourishment, education and pretty much just teaching little children to become humanitarians at a younger age, and I think that's awesome," she says. "If they start that young, what can they possibly do when they get older and do more projects like this and touch more lives? Because that's what it is all about."

It's a message of giving back that students at Preston Park are able to learn first-hand.

"The children that are being affected by childhood hunger, poverty and other problems are part of this classroom, so they live that every day," says Preston Park Principal Eric Fisher. "This is a chance to celebrate who they are, let them know that people care about them and reach out to one another to support their classmates. It lets them know they can make a difference just by putting a smile on each other's faces."

Who else is celebrating?

There's a huge celebration on WSLS10 tonight as part of the NBC prime-time lineup.
8 p.m.- Celebrity Ninja Warrior for Red Nose Day
9 p.m.- Special Episode of Hollywood Game Night for Red Nose Day
10 p.m.- Red Nose Day Special Live from NYC's Rockefeller Plaza

The Live Red Nose Day Special will include celebrities like Julia Roberts, Kristen Bell, Jennifer Garner and more. Click here for all of the details.

Is there still time to participate?

Red noses are still for sale at Walgreens stores nationwide. Each nose costs $1 with $.50 going towards the cause and the other $.50 going to pay for the nose itself.

To make a Red Nose Day donation, click here.