19 Sep 2013

Selfless act paying off for Boston homeless man

10:23 pm on 19 September 2013

More than $US68,000 in donations have poured in from people around the United States for a Boston homeless man who turned over to police a backpack stuffed with cash he found outside a shopping mall.

Glen James landed in the spotlight on Monday when Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis lauded him for turning over the bag containing $US42,000, which was eventually returned to its owner.

Mr James' act inspired a man in Virginia to set up a fund to help him "change his life".

By midday on Wednesday, the online fund had brought in $US68,012 from 2,698 donors, many of whom left messages of praise for James, including: "Such a beautiful person. Reduced me to tears," and "We have a lot to learn from you."

Mr James, who told local media he is in his mid-50s and cannot work because of an inner-ear condition that affects his balance, has been living at a Boston-area homeless shelter and panhandles during the day.

Ethan Whittington, a 27-year-old marketing firm employee from Virginia, said he set up the fund because he was inspired by Mr James' action. He also said he had begun talking with Mr James on Tuesday on how the donated money would be used.