Today is Bono’s (of U2) 50th Birthday. My gift to him is to share one of his greatest passions outside of music, (RED). Bono and Bobby Shriver founded (RED) as a way to support the Global Fund, to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. The organization partnered with well-known companies like, Starbucks, Apple, Gap, Nike and Dell to sell (RED) products. These partners and more have promised to give up to 50% of their profits, from (RED) products, directly to the Global Fund, which buys and distributes antiretroviral medicine to the people of Africa, who are dying of AIDS.

Some Facts about the AIDS Epidemic in Africa:

  • 33 million people worldwide have HIV, 22 million of them live in Africa
  • 3,800 people die of AIDS everyday in sub-Saharan Africa
  • It only costs 40 cents/day a person with HIV alive and healthy,
  • But more than 70% of people living in the region make less than $2/day

So how does this work? Well if you go to Starbucks and purchase a pound of East African (RED) coffee or (RED) mugs and tumblers, Starbucks will give one dollar to the Global Fund. They also sell a (RED) gift card ; every transaction equals 5 cents towards saving lives in Africa. I recommend that Starbucks customers make all their purchases using the  re-loadable gift card–it doesn’t have to be a gift for someone else. For every (RED) Dell laptop sold, Dell will give $20 to the fund. Dell partnered with some amazing artists to create artwork for their Studio laptops and I have to say (even as a proud Mac owner) that these things look GOOD.

There are several great things about buying a (RED) product:

  1. Obviously, you’re helping to save lives and eliminate AIDS in Africa.
  2. You’re buying products from the companies you know and trust already.
  3. You’re not paying a dime extra for any of the (RED) products.

So please check out the (RED) website, follow them on Twitter @joinred or stop by their Facebook page.

CEO, Howard Schultz and U2 front man, Bono announce Starbucks' partnership with Product (RED) at the Starbucks leadership conference in New Orleans, 2008.