News

Red Nose Day: Julia Roberts highlights nurse's 'amazing' work with underprivileged kids

Last year Julia Roberts dramatically deepened her famous voice for the sake of comedy to promote Red Nose Day, but this year, she is using it to bring attention in a more serious way.

To highlight this year's Red Nose Day, the Oscar-winning actress shined a light on the great work being done at Children First Academy in Phoenix, where all of the students live below the poverty line and a majority are homeless.

The K-9 school, which consists of kindergarten through ninth grade, also provides busing, social services and medical care while distributing a box of food each month to needy families.

"It's just amazing how much they can provide in this very small space for a huge amount of children who are entitled to care and love,'' Roberts told Joe Fryer on TODAY Thursday.

DONATE NOW: Support Red Nose Day to help lift children around the world out of poverty

A global movement to fight kids' poverty that has raised over $1 billion in the last 25 years, Red Nose Day launched in the U.S. last year.

Half the money raised by Red Nose Day helps kids in America, and half goes to some of the poorest countries in the world. For every dollar contributed, the Gates Foundation will donate two dollars up to $500,000.

In a funny video to promote the event last year, Roberts had her voice dubbed several octaves deeper in a handful of her memorable movie roles.

But this year she took a more serious turn in highlighting the work done by nurse Lacey Khor at Children's First Academy.

RELATED: Red Nose Day: TODAY pedals 10,000 miles to help kids in need

"It's not to be overwhelmed by how incredibly unfortunate and sad it is,'' Roberts said. "It's to realize we can all rise up and actually participate in altering it."

The school has its own health clinic to treat kids suffering from poor nutrition, lack of sleep, asthma, mental health issues and more.

"It is hard to do every day, but it would be hard not to do, to know that they're here,'' Lacey told Roberts.

Roberts teamed up with Richard Curtis, the man who started Red Nose Day and also wrote hit movies like "Love Actually," "Bridget Jones' Diary," and Roberts' 1999 smash "Notting Hill."

"These are children with the toughest lives, with worse health because of that,'' Curtis told Fryer. "And...without this work, they wouldn't get any healthcare."

Roberts still had time for some silliness as she donned a red nose during her interview with Fryer.

"This is how much I love Red Nose Day, and Richard Curtis for starting Red Nose Day, is that I will do this on television for him to raise money,'' she said.

"I'm not embarrassed. I'll do anything for these kids I met today."

Follow TODAY.com writer Scott Stump on Twitter.

TOP