If you have been online at ALL in the last week, or if you watch TV, you undoubtedly have seen or heard about this picture.
It’s the Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, sitting at the inauguration with his arms crossed wearing a big winter jacket and mittens. Speaking about it he has said he was just trying to stay warm and enjoy the ceremony; but the internet took it so far beyond that.
That picture kept popping up again, and again, and that’s when Senator Sanders decided he could put it to good use.
Maybe they were inspired by the efforts of one creator who crochetted a doll of the image and auctioned it off online. The doll sold for $20,300, and all of the proceeds are being donated to Meals on Wheels.
They took that photo, and put it on merchandise; sweaters, t-shirts, and stickers. Sold them online and within half an hour their first run had sold out. They put more up over this weekend and it also sold out before Monday. In total they managed to make $1.8 million in the two runs of merchandise over five days.
The best part though? Unlike some who would have kept that money, all of this is being donated to charity.
“Jane 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 written 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.”
Area Agencies on Aging to fund Meals on Wheels throughout Vermont, Vermont community action agencies, Feeding Chittenden, Chill Foundation, senior centers in Vermont and Bi-State Primary Care for dental care improvements in the state, all will benefit from this fundraising, Sanders’ office said.
But that’s not the end of it either! Burton Snowboards, the company who made his jacket, have donated 50 jackets to the Burlington Department for Children and Families in his name.
Jen Ellis, the Vermont elementary school teacher who made his mittens has been inundated with so many requests for mitts that she cannot keep up. She has decided that the four pairs she HAS made will have to do. Three pairs were donated to Passion 4 Paws Vermont, and she will put the last pair up on eBay herself to pay for her daughter’s college fund.
Everybody wins from this picture and it’s your Good News Story of the Day, which you can find here.
Even Getty Images confirmed that it will donate its proceeds as part of the licensing agreement to put the photo on the merchandise to Meals on Wheels of America.
Story and Image from AP News.