Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th US President on January 20, 2021, at the US Capitol in Washington, DC. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Former presidential candidate, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) sits in the bleachers on Capitol Hill before Joe Biden is sworn in as the 46th U.S. President on January 20, 2021. (Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images)

Bernie 'Chairman' Sanders Announces $1.8 Million Haul for Charity With Mitten Merch

"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."

Jon Queally

What's in a pair of mittens?

Sen. Bernie Sanders announced Wednesday that sales of merchandise based on the viral photo of the former 2020 presidential candidate wearing wool mittens during President Joe Biden's inauguration have raised over $1.8 million for charities in less than week.

All the money raised from the sales of both t-shirts and sweatshirts at the BernieSanders.com store is going to Vermont charities focused on ending hunger and providing health and dental care to the state's most vulnerable. According to a statement from Friends of Bernie Sanders, the PAC which maintains the senator's campaign organization, those receiving the funds are: Area Agencies on Aging to fund Meals on Wheels in the state, 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 the state.

The first "Chairman Sanders" item was put on the website Thursday night, the statement explained, but the first run sold out in less than half an hour. Additional items were added over the weekend, and sold out by Monday morning.

Sanders said that both he and his wife, Dr. Jane O'Meara Sanders, 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."

While the meme of Sanders in his mittens exploded online and money raised will go towards a good cause, the senator said "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 original photograph was taken by Getty Images photographer Brendan Smialowski, but the PAC said that as part of the licensing agreement with Getty that a portion of the funds generated by the photograph will also be donated to help support Meals on Wheels nationally.

In addition to the merchandise, the maker of the original mittens—Vermont knitter Jen Ellis—has been pressed for orders from around the world, but announced last week that she was sold out.

"I hate to disappoint people, but the mittens," she told Jewish Insider last week, "they're one of a kind and they're unique and, sometimes in this world, you just can't get everything you want."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Coalition Urges Biden to Make 'Transformative Change' in Approach to Global Food and Agriculture

"This pro-corporate agriculture agenda must change under your watch."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Threatening Key Climate Provision: Reports

"To take it out is to decide that climate change isn't a problem."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Make a Gesture of Humanity': Pope Francis Urges Pharma Giants to Release Covid-19 Vaccine Patents

"There are countries where only three or four percent of the inhabitants have been vaccinated."

Andrea Germanos ·


Manchin Fumes After Sanders Op-Ed in West Virginia Paper Calls Out Obstruction of Biden Agenda

"Poll after poll shows overwhelming support for this legislation," wrote Sanders. "Two Democratic senators remain in opposition, including Sen. Joe Manchin."

Andrea Germanos ·


US to Offer 'Condolence Payments' to Relatives of 10 Civilians Killed in Drone Strike

The Pentagon statement follows a call for President Joe Biden to "show real concern for civilians by taking more meaningful steps to prevent civilian casualties as a result of all U.S. lethal operations."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo