Crowd-funding reaps windfall for honest homeless man

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The Telegraph | September 20, 2013

A US homeless man who turned in $42,000 found in a backpack is in the clover after a bid to raise money for him passed the $100,000 mark.

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Glen James came across a backpack containing $2,400 in cash and some $40,000 in traveler's checks, along with a passport, at a Boston shopping mall on Saturday.

He promptly alerted authorities, earning him special thanks and recognition from the city's police chief, Ed Davis. But that wasn't enough for Ethan Whittington, a 27-year-old who launched an online fundraising effort to help James find his footing.

As of Friday, that effort - on gofundme.com - had garnered $121,985.

"Let's all chip in and help this man change his life," Whittington wrote on the crowdfunding site.

The pitch also sparked housing offers, including one from Cynthia Lasprogata who said James could come stay at a one-bedroom apartment in Greene, New York, "until he is back on his feet financially."

James, who is 54 and has been homeless since 2005, modestly said he would never "have kept even a penny" of the hefty find.

"I just want to thank you so much for being so kind," he told Whittington, who lives in the US state of Virginia, in a phone call.

"Those donations will help me to get a brand new start in life."

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