Homeless man thanked for gesture of integrity
BOSTON — The honesty of a homeless man who handed a lost, cash-filled backpack over to police has inspired more than $150,000 in donations to a fund set up in his honor, the fund's organizer said Friday.
Ethan Whittington, of Midlothian, Va., traveled to Boston this week to meet with Glen James and give him the good news of his financial windfall.
James was hailed as a hero last month after he turned in a backpack he found at a mall. It contained more than $2,000 in cash and nearly $40,000 in traveler's checks.
When Whittington, 28, read about James' honesty, he started a fund on the crowd-funding website gofundme.com. Since then, more than 6,000 donations have come in from people around the globe, raising slightly more than $150,000 by late Friday afternoon.
Whittington said when he met James in Boston on Thursday, he shook his hand and gave him a hug.
“He kept saying, ‘Thank you,' ” Whittington said. “You've got to continue to remind him that he is one who should be thanked, and he is the one who inspired people around the world because of his good deed.”
Whittington said he and James talked about ways for James to use the money to improve his life. He said James' sister has found a lawyer who is setting up a trust fund for him. James has found an apartment and is looking into job training programs.
Whittington read about James when Boston police honored him with a special citation for turning in the backpack.
James could not be reached for comment.
During a press conference at Boston police headquarters last month, James, who is in his 50s, handed out a hand-written statement saying he has been homeless since losing his job as a file clerk in a Boston courthouse in 2005. He said it would be difficult for him to hold down a job because he suffers from an inner ear disorder that causes episodes of vertigo.
He said he never considered keeping the money in the backpack.
“Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a penny,” he said in the statement.
Whittington said he's been overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers who donated to the fund.
“Really, for me, it kind of restores your faith in the human race,” he said. “You get to see that there are some good people out there. We can come together and accomplish something together.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Who wins, who loses under stricter power plant limits
- Hitchhiking robot’s journey west cut short in Philly
- Obama orders steeper emission cuts from power plants
- Phoenix man accused of beheading wife, dogs jailed on $2M bail
- West Virginia on pace to issue record number of concealed-carry permits
- Finish 44-year Hamtramck housing bias case soon, judge tells lawyers
- Democrats see ‘firewall’ preserving Iran nuclear deal
- Construction of giant bridges sparks curiosity, high demand for public tours
- CDC: 1 in 5 American adults live with a disability
- Veterans notified of info breach in South Dakota
- Wreckage from Challenger, Columbia goes on display