The senator collects 1.8 million dollars from the sale of merchandise with the viralized photograph that was taken of him at the inauguration of Biden.
A warning appears to the opportune who managed to buy the sweatshirt with the image of Bernie Sanders wrapped up to the ears at the inauguration of Joe Biden: the dispatch may take between six and eight weeks due to excess demand. When they put them up for sale last Wednesday they sold out in less than half an hour. Over the weekend, the Socialist senator’s team once again offered the sweatshirt for $ 45 (37 euros) on the official website and added T-shirts for $ 27 (22 euros). On Monday there was no trace of the merchandise, but there was a trace of the large profits. Sanders’ team reported Wednesday that they raised $ 1.8 million, an amount that will go to charities in their native Vermont.
The photograph taken at Biden’s swearing-in quickly activated an army of internet creatives that turned it into hundreds of memes that went viral. The senator, who is shown sitting with his arms crossed in a thick jacket, knitted gloves and his mask, turned from a character on the couch in the Friends series to part of the group of scientists at the Solvay Conference of 1927. “Jane [the wife] and I have been in awe of all the creativity of so many people over the past week, and we are excited to be able to use my internet fame to help Vermonters in need, ”Sanders said in a statement.
A portion of the money raised will go to Meals on Wheels, a program that offers nutritious meals to seniors and people with disabilities in social homes. Another will go to Feeding Chittenden, Vermont’s largest food bank, and a last to the Chill Foundation, an organization that tries to reintegrate young people into society through snow sports. Sanders has warned that while he celebrates the amount of money raised on his page, it is “not a substitute” for the work he can do in Congress. “I will do everything I can in Washington to make sure that workers in Vermont and across the country get the help they need in the midst of the worst crisis we have faced since the Great Depression,” he said.
It’s not just the veteran senator’s website that has generated charitable profits from his image. Tobey King, a 46-year-old Texas resident, crocheted a mini Bernie, complete with her military green mini jacket, mini mittens and a mini mask. When Sanders’ image went viral, he decided to put the doll up for sale on eBay . The item would go to the highest bidder. The final price was $ 20,300, an amount eBay doubled in order to contribute to the cause, and the total price amounted to 40,600. King’s husband lost his job due to the pandemic, and since then she has been selling wool and yarn dolls to help her family.
In 2016, when Sanders lost the primary to Hillary Clinton, a Vermont elementary school teacher gifted the senator with knitted gloves. Four years later, he was inundated with requests for him to replicate those gloves. They were thousands of followers of the former presidential candidate who wanted to cover their hands with the same mittens that everyone saw on social networks after the inauguration. But teacher Jen Ellis no longer knitted gloves, and she was also unwilling to quit her job to respond to requests. “I’m a teacher and I’m a mom, and all of that keeps me very busy. There is no possible way I can make 6,000 pairs of mittens, and every time I go into my email, I have orders from several hundred people, ”he told Jewish Insider .
The clothing brands Sanders was wearing that day celebrated the free publicity. The senator’s explanation, however, may not have been the best review. “In Vermont we dress to avoid cold, we are not concerned with fashion.”