A man returning $42k in cash is a good story; the fact that the man was homeless makes it even more remarkable. A homeless man in Boston found a sack of cash and traveler’s checks on Saturday, and did the right thing, despite being destitute, reports The USA Today on Sept. 16.
Glen James, who says he has been homeless for five years, found the sack of cash outside of the South Bay Mall in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood Saturday evening. A customer who had visited a Best Buy store dropped it, where it was picked up by James, who regularly visits the mall’s parking lot to pander for change and look for bottles and other items of value.
James flagged down mall security, and handed the bag over. Inside, along with $2,400 in U.S. currency and close to $40,000 in traveler’s checks, was a Chinese passport and other personal papers. The money was later returned to the rightful owner.
James was honored for his honesty at a ceremony at police headquarters in Boston. Handing Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis a handwritten note, James said, “I don’t talk too much because I stutter.”
His statement read: “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… 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!”
The homeless man’s story touched many, including Ethan Whittington of Richmond, Va., who has started a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe.com to help James out. Incredibly, as of the writing of this article, the site already has raised almost half of the amount James turned in.
“I thought what he did was very honorable. I think anybody, whether homeless or not, if you find something of that value, and you have the honesty to turn it in, it makes you feel good to see somebody willing to do that, especially in the situation he was in,” Washington said.
James also tossed his support behind Boston mayoral candidate Charles Yancey. James said Yancey had put “a total of seven dollars into my panhandling cup. I fully endorse Charles Yancey for Mayor of Boston. He cares!” his statement read.
Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis said that James’s actions were “really a remarkable tribute to him and his honesty.”