Essdras M. Suarez/Globe Staff
The phones were ringing off the hook today at the New England Center for Homeless Veterans, in response to a Globe story about a Navy veteran staying at the shelter who did the right thing and returned a wallet full of cash.
E-mails also poured in from well-wishers and visitors stopped by to inquire about Brian Christopher, a 49-year-old Maryland man who, instead of pocketing the $172 in a wallet he found downtown, turned it into police Monday. Police were able to track down the wallet’s owner.
The shelter has never experienced such an outpouring of kindness, said Stephen Cunniff, director of community affairs. Not only are donations and presents rolling in for Christopher, but also for the center itself, he said.
“We appreciate that, and it’s very timely,” Cunniff said in a telephone interview today, during which six more e-mails inquiring about Christopher arrived in his inbox and both of his other phone lines lit up.
“I had no idea that it would turn into this type of response. It’s been an active day, but we’ve enjoyed it."
The Globe also received numerous e-mails today from people hoping to help Christopher, and donations were pledged to the Globe Santa program in Christopher’s name.
Christopher said he was overwhelmed by the reaction to what he thought was a simple good deed not worthy of attention.
“It’s been a little bit hectic this morning,” he said. “I feel like the Grinch at the end of the story. Not that I had a small heart to begin with, but it’s gotten a little bit bigger.”
The shelter is coordinating the donations into a fund for Christopher, Cunniff said.
Anyone interested in reaching out to Christopher should contact Karl See, the vice president of development for the center, at 617-371-1729 or email@example.com.
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