a good cause
January 27, 2021

Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) sensible fashion non-statement raised $1.8 million for charitable organizations in Vermont.

For President Biden's inauguration last Wednesday, Sanders wore a simple Burton Snowboards jacket and mittens made from recycled wool. Agence France-Presse photographer Brendan Smialowski snapped a photo of a cozy Sanders sitting in a folding chair, legs and arms crossed, that resonated with the internet — soon, images began appearing showing Sanders sitting on the moon, riding the New York subway, and hanging out with the Golden Girls.

His campaign put the image on sweatshirts, T-shirts, and stickers last Thursday, and the items immediately sold out; more products were released over the weekend, and those were snapped up by Monday morning. Sanders announced on Wednesday that in just five days, $1.8 million was raised for a variety of charitable organizations in Vermont, including Meals on Wheels and senior centers. He said he was "amazed by all the creativity shown by so many people over the last week," and happy to use his "internet fame to help Vermonters in need."

Fundraising is not enough, Sanders added, as "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 mittens Sanders wore were crafted by Vermont elementary school teacher Jen Ellis, who has made additional pairs for Passion 4 Paws Vermont and Outright Vermont to auction off. Burton Snowboards also donated 50 jackets to the Burlington Department for Children and Families in Sanders' name. Catherine Garcia

February 20, 2018

Inspired by the survivors of last week's deadly school shooting in Florida, who are channeling their anger into action and organizing the March for Our Lives protest against gun violence, Oprah Winfrey announced Tuesday she is donating $500,000 to the rally.

Winfrey is matching a donation made earlier by George and Amal Clooney. On Twitter, Winfrey called the students "inspiring young people" who remind her of "the Freedom Riders of the '60s, who also said we've had ENOUGH and our voices will be heard." In a statement to People, Clooney said he'll be at the March 24 rally in Washington, D.C., with his family, and he made his donation in the name of his 8-month-old twins, Ella and Alexander. The "groundbreaking event" needs to happen, he added, because "our children's lives depend on it." 

Steven Spielberg and Kate Capshaw also matched the donation made by George and Amal Clooney, Deadline reports. In a statement, Spielberg said the students "are already demonstrating their leadership with a confidence and maturity that belies their ages," and he applauds their "efforts to take a stand for the benefit of this and future generations." Catherine Garcia

January 9, 2017

When Meryl Streep speaks, people listen — as made evident by the hundreds of donations that came in Sunday night and Monday morning to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

During the Golden Globes, Streep, while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award for Lifetime Achievement, said the press is vilified in the U.S., and urged the Hollywood community to support the Committee to Protect Journalists. The New York-based nonprofit's head, Joel Simon, told The Hollywood Reporter that since Streep made her speech, hundreds of "average people" have donated to the group. "I think what keeps the press safe, what allows it to challenge powerful forces, is its utility," he said. "The press serves a vital role in terms of its ability to reach a mass audience with information that these powerful forces want to disseminate."

The organization primarily defends reporters working in war zones and repressive countries, but has recently raised concerns about freedom of the press in the U.S. Simon said when the media criticizes Donald Trump when he's president, he'll be "angry, no question," but it remains to be seen if it will result in "angry rants and tweets" or be "translated into policies that are detrimental to how the media functions." Catherine Garcia

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