By Laura Ivers
On the 14th of September, homeless man Glen James found a backpack outside a shopping centre in Boston. Inside was $2,400, almost $40,000 in traveller’s cheques, as well as Chinese passports and other personal papers. Glen brought the backpack to the Boston police who reunited it with its owners.
But this story doesn’t end there. Ethan Whittington, an Alabama native, heard James’s story online and was inspired to act.
That Tuesday morning he set up an online fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $50,000 for James. By Thursday morning, he had raised nearly $100,000 and had moved the milestone to $250,000. By Friday, the total was $121,985 and while the rate of donations has now decreased the current total stands at $158,211.
People have not only pledged thousands of dollars but also clothes, food, computers and even a one-bedroom apartment. An unnamed major organisation has also come forward with the possibility of employing James, an undisclosed donation, and offering guidance for the rest of the fundraising campaign.
On the campaign’s gofundit page, Whittington writes, “I cannot thank you enough for the amount of support this campaign has received over the past few weeks from all over the world! It is truly remarkable what can happen when we put our heads together towards one common goal. Glen is one of the most positive, happiest people I have ever come in contact with; and to think of the situation he was in and to continue to keep his head high is a special trait that not many have. I think as a human race, we’re constantly losing sight of the things that really matter in this world, and when you hear stories like this it almost reboots your mentality about life and what it actually means to be happy.”