Tough economic times can lead people to desperation, but they can also show us what a person is truly made of. Glen James has been homeless for many years. Living on the streets of Boston, he often encounters tourists who are taking in some of the city’s historic areas and buildings.
When a Chinese tourist lost his backpack, it was Glen who found it. Inside of the bag was $2,400 dollars in cash and over $40,000 in traveler’s checks. It also contained the visitor’s passport. James decided to turn the bag in to the authorities by getting the attention of a police officer who was driving nearby.
“Even if I were desperate for money, I would not have kept even a … penny of the money I found,” he told The Boston Globe. In a published statement, James continued, “God has always very well looked after me.”
This past Monday, he was honored by the city of Boston for his laudable act. In his written statement, he humbly thanked those who were celebrating his deed: “I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone — every pedestrian stranger — who has given me spare change. Thank you!”
James opted to write a statement rather than speak because, according to him, “I don’t talk too much because I stutter.”
“It’s just nice to have some money in one’s pocket so that as a homeless man I don’t feel absolutely broke all the time,” he said.
Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis honored James with a special citation and added, “He’s an honest guy and realized the property belonged to someone else.”
Prior to losing his job in 2005, James worked at a courthouse for 13 years. Without a steady job and benefits, he eventually became homeless.
As the nation learned about his good deed, people are sharing his story, sending him accolades and raising money with an online campaign that hopes to donate $50,000 to James.