(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
National

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…