On the day President Joe Biden was being sworn in as the 46th president, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) was captured in pictures at the Capitol with a winter jacket on and mittens, which quickly became a viral meme.
And it did not take long for Sanders’ team to take advantage of the meme and role out t-shirts and sweatshirts with the viral picture on them which it dubbed the “Chairman Sanders” collection.
The Associated Press reports that the merchandise was first rolled out on Thursday and sold out within 30 minutes. After the merchandise was restocked, it sold out again by Monday.
Sales of the merchandise brought in $1.8 million, which Sanders says will go to charitable organizations in Vermont
In a statement, Sanders said, “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.”
“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.
Sanders said the proceeds from the merchandise went to Meals on Wheels throughout Vermont, Vermont community action agencies, Feeding Chittenden, Vermont Parent Child Network, The Chill Foundation, senior centers in Vermont, and Bistate Primary Care for dental care improvements.”
Additionally, Sanders said Getty Images has agreed to donate proceeds from the agreement to use the picture on merchandise to Meals on Wheels of America.