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Midlothian man aims to raise $250,000 for ‘honest’ homeless man

Posted at 6:53 PM, Sep 19, 2013
and last updated 2013-09-20 00:27:32-04

MIDLOTHIAN, Va. (WTVR) -- Apparently, honesty does pay, especially in the case of a homeless man in Boston.

Glen James found a bag with $40,000 in cash and travelers checks lost in a shopping center parking lot earlier this week. He turned it over to police and it was ultimately returned to its rightful owner.

The good deed is certainly not going unnoticed. Hundreds of miles away in Midlothian, Virginia, a complete stranger heard James' tale and decided to take action.

“People like this they should be heard. Their spirit should be spread," said Ethan Whittington. “He just seems like the type of person of never thinking of taking the money. He just had good intentions from the start.”

With a few strokes of the keyboard, the 27-year-old marketing director, who has never laid eyes on James, established an account for the 54-year-old on

Whittington said his intentions were modest and he wanted to raise a few hundred bucks for a well-deserving man down on his luck.

“It kind of restores your faith in humanity, especially being inundated with the negative media on a daily basis," Whittington said.

But Whittington's humble idea has gone viral. Within just a few days, the total has jumped to over $117,000.

Brother and sister Thomas and Anna Ziljan are donating their hard-earned allowance to the cause.

“I wanted to buy him a house," said Anna. "But it was too expensive so I'm donating my money."

Whittington said he has been floored by the generosity of donors and when and if the fundraising ends, he said all the money belongs to James.

Whittington’s ultimate goal is to raise $250,000 for the good Samaritan he’s never met.

“The biggest thing is that I want this to be a positive influence on Glen," he said. “This is the way we should be all of the time. You know I think it would make the world a better place."

Whittington said he plans to fly to Boston in the coming weeks to meet James. He said he will shake his hand and give him a big hug.