Memes drawn from Senator Bernie Sanders’ mittens during the presidential inauguration ceremony have raised over $1.8 million for charity.
Senator Bernie Sanders
During the day of the inauguration of the newly elected US President, the weather was intensely cold. With snow flurries and chilling winds, the temperature dropped to near-freezing. However, Senator Bernie Sanders was perfectly dressed up for the winter weather.
The Vermont senator was cozy in his jacket and a pair of mittens. As he was sitting comfortably, photographer Brendan Smialowski captured a photo of him. And soon, his photo blew up the internet! The photo was Photoshopped into countless memes.
As the internet talked about Senator Bernie, he grabbed the opportunity to turn this moment into something good. Senator Sanders added the image to his merchandise on his website https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/products?sort_by=created-descending – all the proceeds will go to charities.
Due to the meme’s internet fame, sweatshirts and t-shirts sold out in just 30 minutes. They raised around $1.8 million in the span of five days. Vermont-based charities will benefit from the campaign, including Meals on Wheels and senior citizen advocacy groups.
“We’re glad we can use my internet fame to help Vermonters in need,” Senator Sanders said in a statement.
Vermont elementary school teacher Jen Ellis was the one who made the popular mittens that Sanders wore. She shared a valuable message about the good things that can come from mere memes.
“This is the lesson life has taught me again and again,” said Jen Ellis, who gifted the original mittens to Sanders. “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.”