Fundraising started for the homeless guy who turned in the backpack

Boston Magazine reports on somebody who's turned to one of those online fundraising sites to help out Glen James, who found that backpack at South Bay the other day with $41,000 in cash and travelers' cheques inside.



    Free tagging: 


    I hate to be the pessimist,

    I hate to be the pessimist, but is it clear if he even looked in the backpack? I mean - with the marathon bombings and everyone's current terrified state, isn't it possible he alerted police to the backpack because, well, he found an unattended backpack?

    If I, and probably most of us, was in South Bay and found a back pack sitting alone, I would walk up to the community police station and tell them - I wouldn't go anywhere near it.

    Would it matter? Just because

    Would it matter? Just because you're a hand-wringing white person who sees terrorists in trash cans doesn't mean the rest of us are. He brought the bag to the police. If he thought it was a bomb he would not have endangered himself. I think it's very likely he looked inside, but if he didn't that would only have made him MORE HONEST.

    He did the honest, good thing. I think the solid majority of us would have:

    1. Ignored it. "It's someone else's problem, right? Back to Facebook!"
    2. Stolen it. "Finder's keepers. Not like they'd ever find it or even bother looking for it!"

    He did the third option which by far the smallest percentage of people would do. He the lost bag his responsibility, and in your loopy eyes DID SO AT EXTREME DANGER TO HIMSELF BECAUSE THE TERRORISTS HATE OUR LOW PRICES, and reported it (and brought it) to the police.

    Please go back to outside of 495, where you're clearly safer.

    So someone who would alert

    So someone who would alert the police to the presence of an unattended bag is "a hand-wringing white person who sees terrorists in trash cans"? First of all, what does being white have to do with it? Secondly, alerting the authorities is what you're supposed to do.

    I don't disagree with the point that he did a good thing, but you're being kind of an idiot in going about making that point. Calm down.

    yup, he looked

    from the Boston Globe:

    "James went over to see what had been left behind. Inside, he found $2,400 in cash and nearly $40,000 in travelers checks, along with a passport and personal papers. For a homeless man who subsists on food stamps and spare change, it was a staggering sum, maybe even a chance at a new life.
    But James, a slight, bespectacled man in his mid-50s who says he has been homeless for five years, said the thought of keeping the money never crossed his mind."

    and as someone else mentioned, even if he hadn't looked, he still did a good deed...

    Thank you for being the only

    Thank you for being the only commenter that clarified whether or not he opened it or saw it from afar and simply reported it. Of course there is a difference between reporting a suspicious package and opening a backpack with $40k (of which he could have only used the cash) and physically returning it. Yes, now I agree he did a good deed and if the public feels the drive to reward him, more power to him.

    I have no idea how Facebook has anything to do with this. I do not even have an account.

    Donations For Ethan Whittington Of Virginia

    Someone named Ethan Whittington, who lives in Virginia, is the person who set up the donation website supposedly on behalf of Glen James. It seems like a new type of "money grab" where strangers set up donation sites for whoever they think will garner sympathy from the public; they've got nothing to lose, but potentially can profit handsomely from someone else's misfortune.

    These fundraising websites siphon off up to nearly 10% of donations, but then the money goes to the stranger who set up the page. Responding to some comments, Mr. Whittington said the following:

    I have every intention of getting this money to Glen. We are in the process of figuring out the bast way to do so. I want this to positively affect his life. I don't just want to hand a bag of cash over. I'd like to get professional help in assisting him with this cash. Plans need to be developed and will not happen overnight. I have all the nessecary means to get the money to Boston.

    Right, but no guarantee you will!

    It sure sounds like a scam to me when someone from out-of-state sets up a donation site for someone they don't even know. The worst part is, the mainstream media is feeding everyone right into it!!!

    This Just In: Channel 7 just reported "a total stranger in Virginia set up the website", the total now tops $19,000.00. How 'bout they go interview Mr. Whittington now?

    Is It This Ethan Whittington Of Virginia, Formerly Of Alabama?

    I have no idea if this is the person collecting money supposedly for Glen James, but he's the only person named Ethan Whittington that showed up on the web. I'm not even certain if these two pictures are the of the same person (though there is a pretty strong resemblance, when you add a few years and a smile). In either case, he sounds rather sleazy to me!

    Ethan Whittington | LinkedIn

    Consistently achieve maximum sales and profit potential within the military market for a select group of complimentary clients, which will include major brands dominant in their respective categories.


    Ethan Jordan Whittington's Mugshot - Bay Minette, AL. (Arrested 2010-12-30)

    I Wouldn't Trust Either Of Them

    A total stranger hundreds of miles away who has no plans for getting any actual money to Mr. James?

    Of course, if the real Ethan Whittington (if that's even his real name) came forward, there'd be no need for anyone to speculate who he might be. I don't think it's asking too much to know who it is who's trying to profit from the good will and generosity of the people of Massachusetts.

    Update: He's Not The Guy With The Mugshots

    You were right, Robert. Ethan Whittington has since updated his donation site and added a picture of himself; it's the same as the LinkedIn picture, but much larger. I was wrong about it being the same Ethan Whittington in the mugshots.

    Channel 7 also did another story with Glen James in their studio talking to Ethan Whittington on a speakerphone. The story ends with the expectation that Mr. Whittington will be coming to Boston soon with a large check. Hopefully they'll follow up and it really will have a happy ending!

    ( the total is now over $51,000 and the news story is going viral, so it's not done yet )

    I wonder whether the Chinese

    I wonder whether the Chinese student really forgot his bag, or just left it there, assuming it would still be there when he returned. I work at an area university, and every week there are reports in the campus crime log of students leaving their bags unattended, bags that are filled with cash, computers, passports, etc. Sometimes they leave their belongings unattended for hours at a time, and of course they're gone when the students return. Often these students are Chinese. I have been approached personally by a Chinese student distraught because her unattended laptop was missing. I mean, American students are dumb, too, but this happens often enough for me to surmise that random theft is uncommon in China, and that our international students from China are more trusting than they should be about leaving their belongings unattended (especially expensive and difficult-to-replace items). This student is extremely fortunate that this gentleman picked up his unattended bag before someone else did.


    I don't get some of the snide commentary. I used to see this guy in the High St. area of downtown. He's not your run-of-the-mill homeless guy. I would talk to him and he was always cheerful and considerate.
    When I saw him on TV I was not surprised that he would do something like that. I hope this is the break he needs.
    God Bless Him.