- Bernie Sanders birthed another meme of himself when he showed up at President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony wearing mittens.
- The senator seized the opportunity and put the meme image on merchandise on his website, with proceeds going to Vermont-based charities.
- He has since raised over $1.8 million!
With temperatures dropping to near-freezing during President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony, you couldn’t blame Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders for dressing comfortably.
But after he was photographed by renowned photographer Brendan Smialowski, his hunkered-down image instantly became a meme that quickly spread online.
His photo has since been Photoshopped countless times. The mittens-wearing senator can be seen in classic paintings, movie scenes, and several pop culture scenes.
Spotting an opportunity, the senator took advantage of the meme’s popularity and added his image to t-shirts, sweatshirts, and other merchandise on his website — and made sure all proceeds will go to Vermont-based charities such as Meals on Wheels and senior citizen advocacy groups.
The items sold out within 30 minutes! In five days, the senator raised about $1.8 million.
Sanders shared, “We’re glad we can use my internet fame to help Vermonters in need.”
The famous mittens worn by Sanders was made by Vermont elementary school teacher Jen Ellis using a repurposed sweater. She shared that the senator informed her of the huge money raised for charity, thanks to her mittens. She was since flooded with mitten requests!
Not having enough time to meet the demand for mittens, she set up a philanthropic website called Generosity Brings Joy to collaborate with other businesses for new designs and creations. The “Bernie Mitten Themed” products will also benefit charity. Ellis hopes that the items could help bring joy to nonprofits during the pandemic.
Another artist, Tobey King from Corpus Christi Texas, crocheted an adorable Sanders doll and put the pattern on sale — with proceeds also benefiting Meals on Wheels. When she auctioned the finished doll at an opening price of 99 cents, it ended up selling for $20,300!
Another charity auction involved a life-size cutout of Sanders in his famous pose, made by artist Mike Bennett from Portland, Oregon. He ended up raising over $3,000 for Meals on Wheels.
Mitten-maker Ellis advised, “If you give of yourself—not just material gifts, but your time, your goodwill, your kindness—you receive joy. It’s that simple. You don’t have to be rich to care; you just have to be human. We all have so many gifts, and the world is a better place when we share them.”
Source: Good News Network