Bernie Sanders Viral Inauguration Look Helped Raise $1.8 Million For Charity

(Photo by CHRIS DELMAS/AFP via Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders raised a whopping $1.8 million for charity after selling merchandise branded with his now viral Inauguration Day look.

“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 press release. “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.”

The senator began selling “Chairman Sanders Crewneck” sweatshirts depicting a cold Sanders bundled up in a puffy winter coat with handcrafted mittens sitting cross-legged at President Joe Biden’s swearing in, an image that went viral immediately following the big event.

The sweatshirt was priced at $45 but quickly sold out within 30 minutes of being released, according to the press release. While more items were added over the weekend, those were gone by Monday morning. (RELATED: ‘As Far As We Can’: Bernie Sanders Plans To ‘Push’ Joe Biden To The Left)

Sanders, however, isn’t keeping any of the profits and instead noted that all proceeds would go to charity.

Since the big debut, Sanders has raised $1.8 million for Meals on Wheels in 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 in the state, according to the press release.

In honor of Sanders’ charitable efforts, Burton snowboard company, which made the coat Sanders wore on Inauguration Day, donated 50 winter jackets to the Burlington Department for Children and Families in Sanders’ name, according to the press release.

As part of the licensing agreement, Getty Images will donate its proceeds from putting the iconic photo on shirts, sweatshirts and stickers to Meals on Wheels of America, according to the press release.