(UPDATE) Online fund tops $100K for homeless man who returned money-filled bag

glen james boston homeless ed davis
Glen James, a homeless man, received a special citation from Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis for turning in a backpack that contained more than $40,000.
Credit: Courtney Sacco/Metro

Glen James is used to getting spare change from strangers, but the money people are donating to him now may really surprise him.

The 54-year-old homeless Bostonian who could have changed his life if he had kept a lost bag containing more than $40,000 is the subject of an online fundraising campaign spurred by his honesty.

On Saturday James turned over to police a bag that a man had left behind at the South Bay Center in Dorchester. Inside was about $2,500 in cash and $39,500 in traveler’s checks. Some people might have kept it, or pocketed some of the cash, but not James.

It’s that honesty that led Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis award James a citation on Monday and for a Virginia man to start an online fund to help out James. As of Thursday morning, strangers had donated more than $100,000.

“Let’s all chip in and help this man change his life. Every little donation helps. Let’s be reassured that there is still hope and humanity in our great nation,” the fund’s creator, Ethan Whittington, wrote on the webpage.

Donations on the page have varied between $5 and one for as much as $500.

“Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way! You’re [an] inspiration to us all Glen,” one contributor wrote on the fund’s page.

On Monday James told the media he has a stutter and did not want to answer questions. Instead he gave reporters a handwritten statement that said he has been homeless for eight years since losing his job as a court clerk and has a medical condition that causes vertigo. He relies on food stamps and panhandling to help him get by so he can do laundry and access transportation.

James said that he looked in the bag and saw the money, but didn’t consider taking a penny.

Follow Michael Naughton on Twitter @metrobosmike


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Canadian charged in 'Heartbleed' attack on tax agency

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian police have arrested a 19-year-old man and charged him in connection with exploiting the "Heartbleed" bug to steal taxpayer data from…

National

Every dog has his day in court, in…

(Reuters) - Call him juror K-9.A computer glitch is likely to blame for a summons that called a German Shepherd to report for jury duty,…

Local

Local politicians pressure DOJ to investigate Ramarley Graham…

On what would have been his 21st birthday, Ramarley Graham's mother joined elected leaders to ask the U.S. Department of Justice investigate his death.

Local

Muslim leaders welcome NYPD surveillance changes with degree…

Leaders and advocates praise the NYPD's move to shut down a unit tied to its Muslim surveillance program but say there's more left to do.

Television

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ recap: Episode 8

Sure, it's called Survivor. But this season should really be called 'The Tony Show.'

Television

Jim Rash talks 'The Writer's Room' and amazing…

For Jim Rash, as the fifth season of "Community" comes to a close, the second season of "The Writer's Room" begins.

Going Out

Tasty chicken and waffles in NYC

Try some soul food goodness around the city.

Television

'Dexter' star Jennifer Carpenter moves into producing role

The actress who played the title character's sister in "Dexter" is teaming up with producer George Stelzner to adapt Erika Hayasaki's book "The Death Class:…

NHL

Marc Staal healthy, eager to contribute to Rangers…

Marc Staal remembers the feeling of helplessness watching his teammates compete for hockey’s ultimate prize and being unable to contribute.

NFL

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Updated, new April version

NHL

Flyers, Rangers meet in playoffs for 11th time

The Flyers and Rangers will start a new chapter in a historic rivalry.

MLB

Masahiro Tanaka dominates Cubs over eight shutout innings

Masahiro Tanaka certainly had no-hit caliber stuff Wednesday as he allowed just two bunt singles.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: chocolate may prevent obesity…

Can chocolate prevent obesity and diabetes? Location of study: U.S. Study subjects: Mice Results: The positive health benefits of chocolate have been studied increasingly more…

Wellbeing

This Week in Health News: breastfed infants trying…

Are breastfed infants trying to prevent mom from having another baby? Theory: The act of breastfeeding not only brings mom and baby closer together –…

Wellbeing

Unexplained infertility may be caused by lack of…

Researchers have identified a protein on the egg's surface that interacts with another protein on the surface of sperm, allowing the two cells to join.

Tech

5 surprising facts about Google Glass

Your sex life could get more interesting.