Tonight NBC is running a telethon to raise money to fight disease in poor countries.
I’m guessing that when you read that, your first thought was not: “Sounds hilarious! Sign me up.”
But in the United Kingdom, they’ve been pairing comedy and global health for years, with great success. It happens on Red Nose Day, when people throughout the U.K. put on a clownish red nose to draw attention to global health. There is also a telethon that raises tens of millions of pounds. It’s the brainchild of Richard Curtis, the writer-director behind Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill, and Love Actually.
This year, Richard is exporting Red Nose Day to the United States to raise money for four amazing, life-saving organizations: Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria; Save the Children; and Oxfam America. It’s great to see them getting this attention, because they are some of the most effective organizations I know for helping people in poor countries improve their lives.
If you care about these issues, this is a fantastic opportunity to help out. I’d encourage you to tune in tonight starting at 8 p.m. Eastern / 7 p.m. Central on NBC and make a pledge if you can. If you want a taste of what you’ll be seeing, here’s a short video that Melinda and I put together with Richard: