This is off Camino topic, but it’s relevant I think to the spirit of this blog.
Those of you in the US might have already heard this story on the news – it’s made the papers here in Australia, and I thought I’d share it, because the homeless man in question said: God always looks after me.
Sydney Morning Herald –
Honesty has – quite literally – paid off for a homeless man in the US who found a backpack containing more than $US40,000 in cash and traveller’s cheques and immediately turned it in to police.
Now, well-wishers who learnt of Glen James’ admirable deed have donated more than $US100,000 ($106,000) to help the 54-year-old get back on his feet.
Mr James, a former courthouse employee who has been homeless since 2005, discovered the abandoned backpack at the South Bay Mall in Boston on Saturday afternoon.
When he unzipped the bag, he found $US2400 in cash, almost $US40,000 in traveller’s cheques, a Chinese passport and other paperwork. Rather than keep the money for himself, Mr James immediately flagged down a police officer and handed the bag over.
His actions earned him praise from the city’s police chief, Edward Davis, who gave Mr James a special citation and thanked him for his “extraordinary show of character and honesty”.
After reading about Mr James’ selfless actions, a Virginia man who had never met Mr James set up an online donation page to reward his honesty.
“Let’s all chip in and help this man change his life,” Ethan Whittington, 27, wrote on the crowdfunding site GoFundMe.
Mr Whittington said he initially hoped to raise $US50,000 for Mr James, but that goal was achieved within a day of the site going live, and money was still pouring in.
Now Mr Whittington is hoping to raise $US250,000 for Mr James in the hope that it can be used to buy him a house.
Mr James, who stays at a homeless shelter in Boston, said he had been offered so much money on the street this week that he had finally been able to open a bank account.When he found the backpack, he said he never considered keeping the cash.“Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a penny of the money found,” he said in a handwritten statement to the Boston Globe.
“God has always very well looked after me.”
Isn’t that a great story!! People just amaze me sometime!! Random acts of kindness, paying it forward!!
Hi Debbie –
I agree, it’s so wonderful to see there is such compassion and generosity in the world.
The story is one of honesty and amazing love. It goes beyond money being donated. People have come forward offering dental and medical care, as well as financial planning and services. The homeless in our society really get a bad rap. I am hopeful that this kind, honest and gracious man will help to change the tide. Julie
I think just getting this story out there encourages other people to be similarly generous and kind.
They say violence begets violence.
I say kindness begets kindness.
I could not agree more.
I saw it earlier, too. All sorts of people are homeless for all sorts of reasons. I’m glad this story has such legs as to circle the globe and remind us all of that the good in people can be found in people of all circumstances.
For instance, I just read it. You, our friend Bill, passed it on.