DEERFIELD, Ill. — Walgreens and Duane Reade drug stores have begun selling merchandise for the retailer’s annual Red Nose Day campaign to help end child poverty.
Walgreens said Monday that through June 3, customers can participate by purchasing a Red Nose for $1. Other merchandise includes a Red Nose Day pin, wristband and pen. Proceeds from all sales benefit the Red Nose Day Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations that help lift children and young people out of poverty in the United States and overseas.
The six-week charitable campaign marks Walgreens’ third year as the exclusive Red Nose retailer in the United States. Established in the United Kingdom, Red Nose Day brings people together to do something funny to raise money for charity.
“Child poverty is a public health crisis that impacts us all, and Walgreens’ commitment with Red Nose Day is to create urgency and build a movement to help children around the world,” Alex Gourlay, co-chief operating officer of Walgreens Boots Alliance, said in a statement. “Along with other campaign partners, we’re helping to create a unique and powerful opportunity for people and communities to come together to end child poverty.
“With more ‘Noses On’ opportunities and activities across the country for Walgreens customers and employees,” Gourlay added, “we’re hoping to put some fun into building on the campaign’s success to hopefully exceed our fundraising goals.”
This year, for the first time, Walgreens will host Ride On For Red Nose Day, two bicycling events created in tandem with PeopleForBikes to challenge U.S. bike riders to pedal for children in need.
The fundraising initiative includes two road cycling experiences: a West Coast ride from starting in Santa Barbara, Calif., on April 30, and finishing in Las Vegas on May 3, and an East Coast ride traveling from Boston on May 21 to New York City on May 24, just before Red Nose Day on May 25. There’s also the “Ride On for Red Nose Day Challenge,” in which individuals and groups can ride in their communities to raise funds for Red Nose Day through an online fundraising platform developed for the campaign.
Also, starting this month, Walgreens employees in select stores nationwide will go on Facebook Live with a range of “Noses On” videos. More than 600 employees, or “Red Nose Captains,” will complete fun activities on live video, such as dancing competitions, singing challenges that Walgreens customers can participate in with employees while wearing their Red Noses.
Walgreens, too, has enlisted content marketing studio VIMBY to create a social experiment led by a series of Red Nose Day videos. The first video, “Orange Goes Red” (see video above), spotlights a town where the Red Nose spirit “is in full force” and newcomers learn how they can make a difference by wearing a Red Nose, Walgreens said. The videos also tell stories about how Red Nose Day benefits its charity partners and enables viewers to track the campaign’s progress.
The 2017 Red Nose Day campaign will culminate in special television programming on May 25 starting at 8 p.m. ET on NBC-TV.
Walgreens said Red Nose Day has raised over $1 billion globally since its launch in the U.K. in 1988. Walgreens, as part of the Retail Pharmacy USA Division of Walgreens Boots Alliance, raised more than $20 million in the U.S. last year for Red Nose Day, supported through sales of Red Nose merchandise, providing funds for nutritious meals, essential medicine, clean water and other vital aid and education-based services to children.
Beneficiaries of the Red Nose Day Fund include the Boys & Girls Clubs of America; the Children’s Health Fund; Feeding America; Save the Children; Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the National Council of La Raza; and The Global Fund.