By Mirembe Martina
Fundraising for the Boston homeless man who managed to give back a bag which had $40,000 in traveling checks and $2,400 in cash has so far received $104,000 in just a few days.
“I’m in complete shock,” Ethan Whittington, the man who organized the fundraiser, said with a laugh. “It’s more money than I’ve ever seen. It’s completely changing my life. It gets you thinking. Imagine the possibilities if we continue to do this as a nation. It’s so inspiring to see the way that everyone is coming together.”
The money was raised by more than 4,000 strangers since the campaign was posted on GoFundMe.com on Monday. Donations and messages have poured in from all over the U.S. as well as countries as far as Brazil, France and Australia. Whittington has set the effort’s fundraising goal at $250,000.
“There’s no mathematical equation on why I did that,” he said. “I just want to see what we can do.”
Glen James found the black backpack with the money at the South Bay Mall in Dorchester on Saturday evening and reported it to the police who managed to give it back to the owner since it had a passport inside. The owner was a student visiting from China. Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis presented a special citation to James for his “extraordinary show of character and honesty.”
The fundraising campaign began when Whittington heard about what James had done, but it didn’t mention James getting anything other than a plaque.
Whittington is planning to travel to Boston to meet James in person and find out more about his life.
“I have the best intentions for Glen,” he said. “There’s only so much I can do. I’m going to give him 150 percent of my effort to do what I can to help him out, but it’s his money. I can’t make these decisions for him.”