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View-Masters for the Win! ONE Campaign Takes Memes to Capitol Hill

Sen. Mazie K. Hirono, D-Hawaii, looks through a 1950s-style View-Master, which contains a series of memes by the ONE Campaign (Courtesy Rebecca Fudala/ONE Campaign).

Old school took a visit to Capitol Hill this week. As part of the ONE Campaign's lobby day, members of Congress and staff received View-Masters filled with memes promoting foreign aid .  

(Screenshot/Buzzfeed)

(Screenshot/Buzzfeed)

Members of Congress were quick to put the View-Masters to work; each knew what to do when presented with the toy. (By way of explanation for the iPad generation: A View-Master user puts their eyes to the lens to view a series of pictures that can be changed with a click.)  

"Members were eager to see what was inside," said Matt Leffingwell, ONE Campaign's senior director of government relations and a former congressional staffer . "It was a unique leave-behind, a mix of nostalgia and humor [that] brought attention to the serious consequences of cutting these life-saving programs."  

According to Leffingwell, the idea for the View-Master came from a campaign director who wanted to bring a little color to the budget issue. "These conversations don't always get everyone's attention, but we really wanted to highlight the very serious consequences of [proposed cuts] and having a fun toy like this really did the job."  

Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., meets with Stephanie Otis, a student at the University of Rhode Island, and other advocates from the ONE Campaign. (Courtesty Ron Sachs/ONE campaign)

The congressional office visits are part of the 2015 Power Summit in Washington, D.C. The focus this year is protecting "life-saving accounts in the budget" and The Electrify Africa Act, a bipartisan bill that would bring electricity access to millions of people in sub-Saharan Africa.  

No word yet on whether the coveted View-Masters will be delivered to media outlets as well.  

Related: Exit Interview: Matt Leffingwell The 114th: CQ Roll Call's Guide to the New Congress Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Topics: going-global