Created in the United Kingdom, Red Nose Day brings people together every two years to do something funny to raise money for charity. To start the first Red Nose Day in the United States, Walgreens is raising funds in support of the Red Nose Day Fund, which supports nonprofit organizations that help lift children and young people out of poverty in the U.S. and overseas.
Through May 30, Walgreens and Duane Reade stores will sell red noses for $1 each, with proceeds going to the Red Nose Day Fund.
Red Nose Day’s five-week campaign will culminate in an NBC televised fundraising event in New York City on May 21. The live, three-hour benefit will feature popular comedians, musicians and Hollywood stars.
Members of the improvisational comedy troupe Second City helped Walgreens kick off red nose sales in their hometown of Chicago. Disguised as Walgreens employees, the Second City members broke into an unexpected comedic performance for shoppers after customer Audrey Bliss of Chicago officially purchased the nation’s first red nose.
“Happiness and health are at the heart of Walgreens mission and at the heart of what Red Nose Day is all about. Just the simple, silly act of putting on a red nose means that anyone can benefit children in poverty,” Walgreens president Alex Gourlay said in a statement. “We’re thrilled to join Red Nose Day as the exclusive red nose retailer in the U.S. and encourage our entire Walgreens family — our customers, employees and vendor partners — to join us in having a good laugh for a good cause.”
Walgreens also is inviting people to share their #RedNose photos in social media. By snapping a “selfie” wearing a red nose and uploading it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtags #Walgreens, #RedNose and #promo, customers will have the chance to win a trip to New York City to attend the Red Nose Day celebration event on May 21. Also, shoppers in select stores in 10 markets will be able to capture red nose photos via in-store selfie stations with props and backdrops.