CNB News – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Wednesday that he raised $1.8 million for charitable organizations in his state in a matter of days thanks to sales of his currently sold-out merchandise featuring the viral image of him bundled in a jacket with mittens on Inauguration Day.
Sanders began selling the merchandise, dubbed “Chairman Sanders,” through his campaign store on Thursday after the photo of his Inauguration Day outfit went viral online last week.
According to the store site, all of the proceeds from the merchandise, which is now sold out, went to charities in Vermont.
Those charities include Area Agencies on Aging to fund Meals on Wheels throughout Vermont, 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 for dental care improvements in Vermont, the senator announced Wednesday.
“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 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,” he added.
Getty Images, which entered a licensing agreement to allow the photo to be featured on the merchandise, will also be donating its proceeds from the license to Meals on Wheels America, according to the senator’s announcement.
The news comes after the photograph captured of Sanders on Inauguration Day became one of the most viral moments from the ceremony.