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$150,000 raised for honest homeless man

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POSTED October 5, 2013 1:27 a.m.

BOSTON (AP) — The honesty of a homeless man who handed a lost, cash-filled backpack over to police has inspired more than $150,000 in donations to a fund set up in his honor, the fund’s organizer said Friday.

Ethan Whittington, of Midlothian, Va., traveled to Boston this week to meet with Glen James and give him the good news of his financial windfall.

James was hailed as a hero last month after he turned in a backpack he found at a mall. It contained more than $2,000 in cash and nearly $40,000 in traveler’s checks.

When Whittington, 28, read about James’ honesty, he started a fund on the crowd-funding website gofundme.com. Since then, more than 6,000 donations have come in from people around the globe, raising just over $150,000 by late Friday afternoon.

Whittington said when he met James in Boston Thursday, he shook his hand and gave him a hug.

Whittington said he and James talked about ways for James to use the money to improve his life. He said James’ sister has found a lawyer who is setting up a trust fund for him. James has found an apartment and is looking into job training programs.

During a press conference at Boston police headquarters last month, James, who is in his 50s, handed out a hand-written statement saying he has been homeless since losing his job as a file clerk in a Boston courthouse in 2005. He said it would be difficult for him to hold down a job because he suffers from an inner ear disorder that causes episodes of vertigo.

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