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Earlier this year, a simple act of honesty by a homeless man named Billy Ray Harris in Kansas City, paid back in spades not just financially, but also, emotionally because it led to him reuniting with his long-lost older brother. Now a comparable act by a man in Boston seems to be reaping similar rewards, proving beyond doubt, that honesty is definitely the best policy!
It was early evening on Saturday, September 14th. Glen James was passing by the T.J. Maxx store at the South Bay Mall in Boston's Dorchester neighborhood, when he happened upon a black backpack. To see if he could identify the owner, the homeless man opened it only to find that it was filled with money - $2,400 USD in cash and almost $40,000 USD in traveler's checks, as well as, a passport and other legal documents.
While other people in similar situations would have been tempted, Glen who has been homeless since 2005, did not even think twice. He immediately flagged down a policeman and handed him the backpack, which was soon reunited with its original owner - A Chinese tourist that had reported it missing. As happens in such cases, Glen's good deed which was honored by the Boston police department with a special citation was reported by various newspapers, all over the country.
While most people that read it marveled at the man's honesty, 27-year old Ethan Whittington decided that he deserved more and set up a fundraiser on crowd sourcing site, GoFundme.com. He set a target of $50,000 USD, which he believed was reasonable given that it was slightly more than what Glen had discovered in the backpack. The marketing manger from Midlothian, Virginia thought he would be lucky to raise a few hundred dollars. Instead, within just a day, the $50,000 USD goal had been surpassed, encouraging Ethan to aspire for a higher $250,000 USD so that he could help Glen purchase a house and save some for essentials, so that he would not need to panhandle anymore
As of now, over $113,000 USD has been raised and the money keeps pouring in. Ethan who has talked to Glen over the phone, plans to visit Boston soon and also help him manage the money wisely. Needless to say, the homeless man is overwhelmed with the response he is receiving for doing the right thing - Honesty, definitely pays off!
Resources: abcnews.com, Boston.com