Homeless Man Who Returned $40,000 Rewarded with Over $70,000

The homeless hero who handed a found backpack full of cash and travelers checks worth some $40,000 over to Boston Police will not walk away from his good deed empty handed.

In addition to a special citation from the Boston Police Department, Glen James stands to receive upwards of $70,000 thanks to an Internet fundraiser launched by a Virginia man who was touched by the story.

Ethan Whittington, originally of Montgomery, Alabama, thought he could raise a few hundred bucks as a thank you to James for his selflessness.

But 24 hours later, Whittington's GoFundMe page had raised over $55,000 thanks to the donations of some 2,000 strangers.

And the numbers have not stopped climbing since.

Whittington has now adjusted his goal to $250,000, of which $70,000 have already been donated by nearly 3,000 individuals.

The Richmond resident says he hopes to be able to give James enough money to buy his own house.

After speaking with James yesterday about his incoming windfall, Whittington filed this update:

He told me with the amount of money he has received on the streets over the past few days, he was able to open a bank account. We discussed how he would like to receive the money and what he would like to use it for. We want to be very careful how this amount of money is handed over. He was up for the idea of having some guidance on what to do with this amount of money. He said he would like a week to think about it, and in the meantime, I will speak with a few financial folks to see how we can help him in a way that will positively influence the rest of his life.

And Whittington is already setting his sights past the immediate goal of getting James off the streets.

"I feel like, if everybody could come together and create one goal like we've done for Glen, why stop with him?" he asked rhetorically. "Why can't we influence more people?"

[screengrabs via WSFA]