Lifestyle & Belief

Donors raise $100,000 for homeless man who turned in bag containing $42K


An employee at a money changer counts USD 100 bills in Manila on October 25, 2012. Potentially millions of newly-minted $100 bills have been ruined.


Noel Celis

Some 4,200 people have raised more than $100,000 for a homeless man who turned in a backpack containing $2,400 in cash, $39,500 in travelers’ checks and a Chinese passport on Sept. 15.

Glen James, who lives in a shelter in Boston, said he found the bag in front of a TJ Maxx store at the South Bay shopping mall in Dorchester and turned it into mall police. The owner of the bag later contacted the mall and was reunited with his money.

On Monday, Boston police presented James with a special citation. "I just want to thank Mr. James for what he did," Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis said. "It really is a remarkable tribute to him and his honesty."

Ethan Whittington, a 27-year-old marketing accounts manager in Midlothian, Va., read about James’ good deed, and decided he should get a reward to go with that official thank-you.

Whittington set up a fundraiser on the online donation site GoFundMe on Tuesday. He told NBC News he expected "maybe a couple hundred bucks over the next couple of weeks," but donations had reached $104,280 by midday Thursday.

He said people have also volunteered to give James computers and free dental work.

Whittington told Boston Magazine he’s spoken to James on the phone, and James also asked for some help managing the large sum when he receives it.

Whittington plans to give James the money through a bank account or in person. “I’d like to go up to Boston and meet him and give the guy a hug,” he told NBC News.

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