On Tuesday, a handmade crocheted doll inspired by the viral meme of Senator Bernie Sanders raised more than $40,000 for Meals on Wheels America when it was sold in an online auction.
Tobey King, the maker of the doll, set it up for auction on eBay, promising 100% of the profits to the charity.
“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,” King said. “With the attention, it was getting I was hopeful Meals on Wheels would get a good donation.”
The starting bid for the doll was only 99 cents, but three days later, the item had 167 bids with a winning bid of $20,300.
According to an eBay spokesperson, it was “inspired” by King’s decision to donate the proceeds and that the company would be matching the winning bid to “help support even more people in need.”
The total funds raised from the auction is more than $40,000.
While the Sanders doll was 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,” King said. “I’m overwhelmed with gratitude.”
Jenny Young, vice president of communications for Meals on Wheels America, said before the auction that ‘Sen. Sanders has long been one of Meals on Wheels’ biggest advocates.’
“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,” Young said.
“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.”
“The awareness for our cause is needed now more than ever, and on behalf of the entire nationwide network, we greatly appreciate the support.”
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