It is probably safe to say that by now everyone on social media has come across hilarious Bernie Sanders mittens memes. Bernie Sanders himself took his newfound internet fame lightheartedly and he even put the image on merchandising selling out in hours and donating the proceeds to charities in Vermont.
Sanders announced on Wednesday that the famous picture of him sitting on the chair with his arms folded, legs crossed, dressed in a brown parka, mask on and big recycled wool mittens helped raise $1.8 million last month for charities in his home state of Vermont.
T-shirts, sweatshirts and stickers were available for purchase on his campaign website. At first, as soon as “Chairman Sanders” merchandise became available it sold out in 30 minutes. More was added over the weekend and it sold out by Monday as well.
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Sanders himself announced in statement that although he is delighted to see all the creativity out there and he is happy to be able to raise the money using his internet fame, he still believes that raising money through merchandise is not ”substitute for action by Congress.” He added he will do everything he can in Washington to help working people in Vermont and across the United States.
As for mittens that Sanders wore, they were made by Jen Ellis, elementary school teacher from Vermont. She has a side business of making mittens from recycled wool.
The proceeds from “Chairman Sanders” merchandise will be donated to following charitable organizations in Vermont: Area Agencies on Aging to fund Meals on Wheels all across the state of Vermont, Vermont community action agencies, Feeding Chittenden, Chill Foundation, senior centers and Bi-State Primary Care for dental care improvements in Vermont.
Sanders’ office also said that the crochet doll of the Senator was auctioned off online and even Burton Snowboards donated about 50 jackets to the Burlington Department for Children and Families in Senator’s name. Also, Getty Images will also donate its proceeds to Meals on Wheels.