(Photo: Screen Grab via boston.com)
Glen James, the homeless man who returned a lost backpack filled with more than $42,000 in cash and travelers checks was honored by police in Boston, Mass., on Monday and he took the opportunity to praise God and thank everyone who ever gave him a penny.
"I don't talk too much because I stutter," he noted in a boston.com report on Monday. His stutter did not, however, prevent him from saying more. The honest man shared a handwritten statement in which he exalted God for always providing for him.
"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," he wrote in the statement.
Returning the backpack, he said, made him feel "very, very good" and he noted: "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!"
Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis called James "honest" and said his actions are "really a remarkable tribute to him and his honesty."
"He's an honest guy and realized the property belonged to someone else," Davis told boston.com.
But James is in for more than just a "thank you." As of Tuesday evening, a gofundme campaign started on Monday by Ethan Whittington had already raised more than half of a $50,000 goal seeking to help James, who has been homeless for several years, turn his life around.
"A homeless man by the name of Glen James found $40,000 yesterday and promptly returned the backpack with all of its contents. 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," wrote Whittington.
On Tuesday, Whittington called the level of support the campaign had received so far "UNBELIEVABLE."
"I am currently in the process of finding out more about Glen. What's his situation currently? What does he need? How can we best help him? Once this is determined, I will lay out a financial plan. (Apartment deposit/ down payment, rent, utilities, clothes, food, job consultation, etc.) I am also in contact with a few people about the possibility of housing help," he wrote in a post on the campaign wall.
"What a fantastic thing you are doing, Ethan. $50,000 goal? Try adding a zero at the end. That's my call on what the final total will be. Once these stories go viral, it explodes," wrote on donor to the fund, Marnie McCallister.