Homeless Good Samaritan

Homeless Good Samaritan

Updated Sep 20, 2013 at 04:12PM EDT by Don.

Added Sep 20, 2013 at 02:50PM EDT by Don.

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Homeless Good Samaritan is the nickname given to Glen James, is the nickname given to Glen James, a homeless man from Boston who found and returned a backpack containing $42,100 in September of 2013. Immediately after the story began circulating online, a fundraising campaign for James was launched, raising over $130,000 within the first week.


On September 15th, 2013, CBS Boston[1] reported that a homeless man had turned in a backpack filled with $2,400 in cash and $39,500 in travelers checks to the police. On the following day, Redditor DougBolivar submitted the news story to the /r/offbeat[2] subreddit, where it gained over 2,900 up votes and 220 comments in the first four days. The man was later identified as Boston resident Glen James, who had been homeless for five years.

Notable Developments

Police Citation

On September 16th, Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis awarded James with a citation and praised his “extraordinary show of character and honesty.”[4] In a handwritten statement, James revealed why he did not take the backpack:

“Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a penny of the money found. God has always very well looked after me.”

According to the Boston Globe,[4] when James was asked if he would like anything immediately after the ceremony, he responded “No War.”


On September 17th, Virginia resident Ethan Whittington created a donation page for Hilbrand on the site Go Fund Me,[3] aiming to reward James for selflessly returning the found backpack. In just four hours, the page raised more than $3,000.[4]

“A homeless man by the name of Glen James found $40,000 yesterday and promptly returned the backpack with all of its contents. Lets all chip in and help this man change his life. Every little donation helps.”

On September 18th, Redditor Russelltaylor posted a news story about the fundraiser to the /r/news[5]subreddit, where it gathered over 14,100 up votes and 780 comments in the next 48 hours. Throughout the week, the fundraiser was reported on by several news sites, including ABC News,[6]PBS,[7] The Daily Dot,[8]CBS News,[9]BBC[10] and NY Daily News.[11] As of September 20th, the campaign has received over $131,000 in donations.

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