`This Is Us' stars Moore, Hartley co-host Red Nose special

This combination photo shows Mandy Moore, left, and Justin Hartley at the NBC and Universal Television Emmy Nominee Celebration in West Hollywood, Calif. Moore and Hartley, co-stars on the NBC series "This is Us," will co-host NBC's annual Red Nose Day special on May 21. (Photos by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP) (Willy Sanjuan, 2019 Invision)

LOS ANGELES – “This Is Us” stars Mandy Moore and Justin Hartley will co-host NBC's Red Nose Day special to raise money and awareness for children in need.

The network's sixth annual event, airing 9-11 p.m. EDT Thursday, will include musical performances, sketches and short films that illustrate how donations are used for children living in poverty in America and other countries.

Among the actors and musical artists taking part: Julia Roberts, John Legend, Bryan Cranston, Kelly Clarkson, Paul Rudd, One Republic, Steve Martin, 5 Seconds of Summer, Sarah Silverman, Ray Romano, Sam Smith and James Taylor.

Funds raised by this year’s Red Nose campaign will be directed to help combat the effect of COVID-19 on youngsters and the organizations that aid them.

In the pandemic, “some of the most vulnerable parts of our population are obviously going to be children,” Moore said. "The need has never been more critical to make sure that kids have health care and education and housing and food, all of the things that Red Nose Day and the campaign supports.”

Because of the crisis, the fundraiser's Red Noses aren't being sold in drugstores as is usual. Instead, they're part of NosesOn.com, a website to make donations and get a “digital Red Nose” to share on social media, NBC said.

Red Nose Day has raised $200 million annually for programs including Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Children's Health Fund and Feeding America. The U.S. campaign, run by the non-profit organization Comic Relief, follows in the footsteps of the original British fundraiser founded in 1988.