Homeless Man Returns $42,000 Found in Backpack

    September 16, 2013

In a day where stories on the tragic Navy Yard shooting in Washington, D.C. has been the bulk of the headlines, the story of one man who returned a large sum of money should make your day a little brighter. A homeless man in Boston, Glen James, found $42,000 in cash and traveler’s checks in a backpack and made sure the money made it back to its rightful owner.

After finding and returning the backpack on Saturday, James received a special citation from Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis on Monday. James issued a handwritten statement on the situation, saying he doesn’t like to talk much because he stutters.

“Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a…penny of the money I found. I am extremely religious–God has always very well looked after me,” James said in the statement. James also used the statement to give thanks to the people who have given him spare change over the years. “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone–every pedestrian stranger–who has given me spare change. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

It’s hard to fathom someone returning any amount of money, especially such a large sum. It says a lot that James, a man who has been homeless since 2005 and could certainly use the money, didn’t hesitate for a moment to flag down a police officer and turn over the backpack. Police were able to get the backpack, which contained travel documents in addition to the cash and traveler’s check, to the right person.

A man in Virginia, Ethan Whittington, started an online campaign to raise money for James. Using a website called gofundme.com, Whittington has raised just over $3,000 so far, with a goal of eventually raising $50,000 for the homeless man. “I read the article about it, and…it seemed like a great opportunity to help someone out,” said Whittington. “I thought what [James] did was very honorable.”

What would you do if you were in the same position and found a large sum of money? Add your comments below.

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