Bernie Sanders Meme-Themed Merchandise Raises $1.8 Million for Charity

You couldn’t go anywhere online after the inauguration without seeing the photo of Bernie Sanders sitting alone bundled up in a coat and mittens. The image proved to be so popular that his team created t-shirts and crewnecks sold on his online store, with all the profits going to various Vermont charities. The $45 black crewneck sweatshirt’s initial run sold out in less than 30 minutes last Thursday and its restock sold out nearly as fast.

Overall, the merchandise raised over $1.8 million dollars to organizations such as Meals on Wheels, Vermont Community Action Agencies, Feeding Chittenden, Vermont Parent Child Network, The Chill Foundation, Senior Centers in Vermont through the Area Agencies, and Bistate Primary Care, according to CNN.

“Jane [Sanders] and I were amazed by all the creativity shown by so many people over the last week, and we’re glad we can use my internet fame to help Vermonters in need,” Sanders said in a statement. “But even this amount of money is no substitute for action by Congress, and I will be doing everything I can in Washington to make sure working people in Vermont and across the country get the relief they need in the middle of the worst crisis we’ve faced since the Great Depression.”

His now-famous mittens were made out of recycled wool by a Vermont elementary school teacher named Jen Ellis, according to the Associated Press, who gifted them to him years prior while campaigning.

Getty Images is also getting involved. As part of its licensing agreement to put the meme on sweatshirts, stickers and t-shirts, Getty Images now plans to donate its earnings to Meals on Wheels America.