Homeless Man’s Honesty is a Lesson for All

by Dr. Chad Audi

What would you do if you found $42,000 on the street? Now, be honest. Would you turn it in or would you take it and run?

Everyone is talking about Glen James, the Boston homeless man who found a backpack filled with $42,000 in cash and traveler’s checks at a mall and turned it in to police. The man who lost the backpack was located. For his part, Glen says he is glad the money was returned to the rightful owner. Despite his personal situation — he lost his job, has been homeless for eight years, and lives in a shelter — Glen said he never thought of keeping even a penny of the money.

In recognition of Glen’s honesty, the Boston Police Department presented him with a special citation. But the more amazing response has come from the public. People from all over the country who don’t even know Glen have donated money to an online fundraising campaign for the homeless man. At last count, nearly $100,000 has been collected. The fundraising drive was started by a man in Virginia who was impressed with Glen’s honesty. Both men have been overwhelmed by the generosity of strangers.

This story brings a smile to my face for several reasons.

First of all, it shows that homeless people should not be perceived as bad human beings simply because they have gotten caught up in an addiction, or lost their job, or committed a crime, or fell into any other circumstance that led to them not having a place to live.  Here at the Detroit Rescue Mission Ministries (DRMM), we treat everyone who comes through our doors with respect and integrity, no matter what situation brought them to us. Through our programs and services, our goal is to return the homeless to society as independent, productive members of the community.

Secondly, Glen’s story proves that despite all of the negative and tragic events occurring in this world, we are still decent, charitable human beings.

And finally, it’s also proof that honesty truly is the best policy. God looks favorably upon those who honor Him with honesty, integrity and excellence. May God bless you, Glen James.

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