A homeless man returned $42,000 he found in a backpack and the story is going viral online. USA Today reported the details on Sept. 16 of Glen James' choice to return the money, despite the fact he has been homeless for several years.
The money belonged to a Chinese visitor and consisted of about $2,400 in cash and almost $40,000 in traveler's checks. After Glen James found the backpack at Dorchester's South Bay Center over the weekend, he found a police officer to turn in the backpack. It seems James never really considered keeping the $42,000, though it would have been tempting for many.
The man who returned the $42,000 was given a special citation by Police Commissioner Edward Davis, and word has quickly spread about his choice online. A man named Ethan Whittington has started a campaign to raise funds for James, and there is already nearly $16,000 raised.
Glen James had worked at a courthouse for 13 years, but after losing his job he became homeless. It seems he has been homeless since 2005, but perhaps this good deed and the news going viral can provide an opportunity for change for him.
For his part, James said, “Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a... penny of the money I found.” He cites his strong faith as a driver in his decision, saying he is “extremely religious” and he added that “God has always very well looked after me.”
The man who returned $42,000 to the owner has thanked everybody who has given him spare change over the years, and he has seemed a bit overwhelmed by the attention the story has gotten. Glen James even got an ovation as he left the news conference where he was given the citation. This is one of those stories that gives many a smile and certainly rejuvenates people's hope that there are still those out there willing to do the right thing despite temptation.