A homeless man from Boston has been feted for a selfless act of honesty when he returned thousands of dollars to their rightful owner.
Glen James, who says he has been homeless since 2005, found a rucksack at a shopping mall in the Dorchester area of the city last Saturday. It’s contents amounted to a value of around $40,000 translating to roughly £1,500 worth of US currency, a further £25,000 in traveller’s cheques, as well as a Chinese passport and documents. It’s a substantial sum to most, but even though James relies on food stamps and charity to get by, he claims he was not tempted to keep the cash himself.
James’s honesty has been celebrated by Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, who applauded James’s “extraordinary show of character and honesty”, as the Boston Globe reported. Davis gave the Good Samaritan an honorary citation on Monday.
On making the discovery, James contacted police and the fortune was eventually returned to its owner. James claims he didn’t give his actions a second thought. In a statement he said ‘ I would not have kept even a penny’. He went on to attribute his attitude to his faith, claiming ‘I am extremely religious, God has always very well looked after me’, the Metro reported.
James’s statement also made mention of a health condition that means he suffers from vertigo, and hints it may have contributed to his inability to work. However, he was grateful for the help he receives from charity and was thankful for ongoing support claiming “the shelter is the perfect living situation with someone who has Meniere’s disease… There are many people in the shelter to attend to me.”
But James’s act of kindness has proved contagious. On Monday a Virginia man, Ethan Wittington, heard the story and took to crowd funding website gofundme.com to raise donations for James. The money poured in and the target of $50,000 was quickly surpassed. The total currently stands at over $62,000 and is rising, with the average donation around $25.
In an update, Wittington wrote that he “finally got to speak to Glen” and they are working towards a way the money can “positively influence the rest of his life.” He also suggested they may “donate the money towards the Boston homeless shelter in Glen's name.”