The viral meme of Bernie Sanders has been made into a crocheted doll, and it’s now being auctioned for charity
The image from President Joe Biden’s inauguration of Sen. Bernie Sanders sitting with his legs crossed wearing brown and white gloves made a splash on the internet. Now, one lucky bidder can own a crocheted doll made as a tribute to Sanders’ inauguration meme.
The unique doll is up for auction on eBay, with the seller, Tobey King, promising 100% of the profits to Meals on Wheels America.
“I was talking with another crafter friend who told me Bernie had just sold some hoodies and donated all the proceeds to Meals on Wheels Vermont, and I knew that that is what I wanted to do with the doll I made,” said King, owner of Tobey Time Crochet. “With the attention it was getting I was hopeful Meals on Wheels would get a good donation.”
The starting bid for the handmade doll Saturday was only 99 cents, but by Monday the item had more than 149 bids with bidding above $15,000. The auction ends Tuesday afternoon.
“Senator Sanders has long been one of Meals on Wheels’ biggest advocates, and it’s incredible to see how his unexpected moment in the spotlight is inspiring others to join the fight to address senior hunger and isolation, as well,” Jenny Young, vice president of communications for Meals on Wheels America, told CNN.
Last week, the Sanders campaign store started selling sweatshirts featuring the photo that inspired the countless memes, and all the proceeds are going to Meals on Wheels programs in Sanders’ home state of Vermont.
Young told CNN that Meals on Wheels America is an official eBay charity and that King selected the organization to receive 100% of the sale.
“Amid the pandemic, the demand for Meals on Wheels has skyrocketed as more vulnerable older adults find themselves homebound and in need of this vital lifeline,” said Young in a statement. “The awareness for our cause is needed now more than ever, and on behalf of the entire nationwide network, we greatly appreciate the support.”
Just like the meme of Sanders, King’s design and photos of her handmade doll went viral last week when she posted pictures of her creation on social media. She told CNN it took her seven hours to crochet the 9-inch doll that is made to sit. A tiny wooden bench will be included with the doll.
King, from Corpus Christi, Texas, patterned it off a previous doll she made of Sanders when he ran for president in 2020. This time, she added the now-famous brown and white knit mittens along with a blue felt face mask.
“I just really like and support Bernie,” said King, 46, who has been crocheting for eight years. “I think he’s great.”
The mother of two started crocheting, according to her website, when she quit her job to be a stay-at-home mom. She started making scarves and clothes before deciding to try her hand at making a doll for her daughter. King has since made dolls inspired by famous people ranging from the singer Selena to the cast of “The Golden Girls.”
While the Sanders doll is being sold for charity, King is also selling the crochet pattern on her Etsy store so anyone can make their own collector’s item.
“The attention that my Bernie doll and I have received is unbelievable,” said King. “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.”