Even though he may not have made it to the highest office in the land, Senator Bernie Sanders and his “Chairman Sanders” merchandise have raised over $1.8 million for a number of charities in his represented state of Vermont. Sanders’ team pressed up black crewneck sweatshirts with the meme for $45, and, according to his office, their existing inventory sold out in less than half an hour.
Some of the recipient charities include state agencies that fund Meals on Wheels throughout Vermont, Vermont Community Action Agencies, Feeding Chittenden, Vermont Parent Child Network, and Senior Centers in Vermont through the Area Agencies. Age Well, the largest provider of Meal on Wheels in Vermont, went on Twitter to voice its thanks to the senator.
“[Age Well CEO] Jane [Catton] 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 related 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.”
Even more, Senator Sanders’ deeds have inspired others across the country to do their part when it comes to their own acts of charitableness. Tobey King, from Corpus Christi, TX, and owner of Tobey Time Crochet, knit her own doll inspired by the Sanders meme and put it up on eBay for auction.
Her 9-inch doll comes with the wooden bench, and all the proceeds are going to Meals on Wheels America. The auction has ended up raising over $40,000, and King was happy to support Bernie and use the opportunity to promote her business. “I was talking with another crafter friend who told me Bernie had just sold some hoodies and donated all the proceeds to Meals on Wheels Vermont, and I knew that that is what I wanted to do with the doll I made. With the attention it was getting, I was hopeful Meals on Wheels would get a good donation.”