Insights

Ending Child Poverty, One Nose at a Time

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Keep children safe, healthy and educated. That’s the mission of Red Nose Day, a fundraising campaign by Comic Relief USA that brings people together to have fun, raise money and change the lives of children.

Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. in 2015. Since then, the initiative has raised nearly $150 million and touched the lives of more than 16 million children around the world.

Here in Chicago, Red Nose Day has partnered with The Chicago Community Trust to support local organizations advancing their mission to end child poverty. Red Nose Day looked to the Trust for local knowledge and insight to identify programs with a strong track record of demonstrating clear and measurable impact in addressing the immediate needs of children living in poverty, as well as fostering long-term change for vulnerable children.

Through this partnership, 14 outstanding community organizations across Chicago have received grants from the Red Nose Day Fund:

  • The BASE Chicago, for a program connecting young participants with men of color in mentoring relationships focused on health and education.
  • Chicago Commons Association, for early childhood education and multi-generational family engagement that makes children as healthy and prepared for success in elementary school as their more advantaged peers.
  • El Valor, for a partnership with University of Illinois at Chicago College of Applied Health Sciences to increase wellbeing, physical activity and access to health services for children with disabilities and their families.
  • Erie Neighborhood House, to provide low-income, primarily Latinx children and families with accurate, actionable information and skills to improve nutrition, health and exercise.
  • Gads Hill Center, for its Home Visiting program offering support, guidance and child development services to over 200 families each year.
  • Gary Comer Youth Center, for three camps—sports/fitness, media/tech and cultural/visual/performing arts—that provide a safe and engaging spring break for students in the third through eighth grades.
  • Girls in the Game, for its weekly after-school programs for girls ages 7 to 13 focused on sports, health and leadership.
  • LYTE Collective, for the LYTE Lounge: a community center on the South Side to provide safe space, critical resources and holistic support for young people experiencing poverty and homelessness.
  • UCAN, for gender-specific, trauma-informed youth development and safety programs in Chicago’s North Lawndale community.
  • Union Impact Center, for sports and fitness programs that increase physical activity among children and families.
  • Urban Initiatives, for a soccer program that incentivizes elementary students to work hard in the classroom by rewarding them with the chance to participate in games with their team, building health, education and social-emotional learning skills.
  • West Town Bikes, for an entrepreneurship and leadership program based on bicycling and bicycle mechanics for underserved youth and young people in Humboldt Park.
  • Year Up, to change the economic trajectories for under-served young adults in Chicago by increasing access to living-wage jobs, providing a pathway to post-secondary education and building productive social networks.
  • Youth Guidance, for career exploration and readiness events for high school students.

Red Nose Day, the campaign to end child poverty, returns on May 23. You can show your support by picking up your own red nose at Walgreens; or make a donation directly to Red Nose Day’s Chicago fund to help keep local children safe, healthy and educated.