An online fundraising effort to help a homeless man who returned a lost backpack containing thousands of dollars has raised far more money than the organizer ever imagined.

But one man – Alabama native Ethan Whittington – wanted to do more to honor James’ good deed. After reading about the selfless act, Whittington set up a donation page at, hoping to raise $200 to $300 for James.

Within 24 hours, the site received more than $55,000 in donations from over 2,000 people. After the explosive response, Whittington set a new goal of raising $500,000, and is working with an organization that will help him get the money to James, along with donations of computers, clothing and even job and housing offers that have come along with the outpouring of money.