It’s the meme seen ’round the world — U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders at President Joe Biden’s inauguration, keeping warm with a pair of hand-made mittens.
A Winnipeg fundraising effort is taking advantage of the ‘Bernie memes’ that have been filling our social media feeds with a campaign aimed at helping newcomers.
The Cutting Edge, a program of the Canadian Muslim Women’s Institute, has been working on creating its own unique ‘Bernie mittens’ as a way to raise funds and give newcomers to Canada some valuable job experience at the same time.
“We help newcomer women to attain their employment goals, and we do that through our industrial sewing machine training program as well as our social enterprise,” said Cutting Edge director Anne-Lydie Bolay.
“When a newcomer immigrant woman arrives in Canada, there’s just so many things to learn about how to enter and access the Canadian workplace.
“We’re here to accompany them on that journey and help them to be successful. They’re women who have big dreams for themselves and their families, and we’re here to support them with that.”
Bolay told 680 CJOB the women are working on mittens in the style of Sanders’ notorious pair, created with materials upcycled through thrift store sweaters.
“We’re lining them with polar fleece, and they’re just beautiful mitts. Very fun to work with,” she said.
“We hope they’re going to end up on the hands of many Winnipeggers this winter.”
Bolay said The Cutting Edge is working with Local Investment Toward Employment (LITE) as a marketing partner, and the mittens can be ordered from LITE’s website.
The funds raised go back into programming for the newcomer women.
“It goes to keep funding our social enterprise endeavours, toward the salary of the women creating the gloves, and the money keeps flowing to help with opportunities.”