Man Who Found Boston Marathon Bomber Gets New Boat

Honest homeless man and a tornado victim have also been donation recipients.

October 03, 2013, 2:10 AM
PHOTO:  Dave Henneberry, is seen in this April 23, 2013 video grab from World News, has a new boat, left, which was paid for by benefactors after his boat was destroyed in a shootout with the police in the aftermath of the Boston bombing.
Dave Henneberry, is seen in this April 23, 2013 video grab from World News, has a new boat, left, which was paid for by benefactors after his boat was destroyed in a shootout with the police in the aftermath of the Boston bombing.
Courtesy Dave Henneberry | ABC News

Oct. 3, 2013 — -- intro: When a Massachusetts man's beloved boat was riddled with bullets after he found the Boston bombing suspect hiding in it, the public wanted to reward him.

People also opened their hearts and wallets for a homeless man who returned a backpack with $40,000 in it and for a bus monitor who was videotaped enduring vicious taunts from students.

Fundraising websites like GoFundMe and Crowdtilt have created an outlet for people moved, outraged, saddened and inspired by stories in the news to make a difference financially.

Here's a look at five of these recent efforts and where the money recipients are now.

quicklist: 1title: David Henneberry On His New Boat: 'The Bad Guy Didn't Win'text: David Henneberry's bullet-riddled boat was the centerpiece of the climactic end to the hunt for the Boston bomber.

Now, more than five months later, Henneberry recently got a new boat, thanks to donations from generous strangers across the country.

"We just recently, two weeks ago, got a used boat," Henneberry told "We did accept [the $50,000 raised] and we did also request that anything over that went to the One Fund. It just seemed right to do."

The One Fund is the organization created to help victims of the Boston Marathon bombing.

He called the 24-foot boat a "fixer-upper" with the same "sparse" amenities as his previous boat.

"You just want to ramble on you feel so grateful," Henneberry said. "After such a bad thing happened to us and the people of Boston, it was wonderful to see that. It was humbling. It restores your faith in people. They don't know me."

The new boat is named Beth Said Yes for Henneberry's wife, Beth. The previous boat's name was Slip Away.

"That's fitting, isn't it?" Henneberry said with a laugh. "We decided we're just going to let Slip Away slip away. It was actually taken by the FBI, but that's another thing."

Henneberry was hailed a hero when he discovered suspected Boston bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hiding in his beloved boat in his Watertown, Mass., backyard. He quickly called the cops and in a final standoff on the night of April 19, his boat was riddled with bullet holes.

Within days, online campaigns to buy him a new boat began popping up. Campaigns on Facebook and Crowdtilt combined forces in a fundraising effort called, "Let's Fix David Henneberry's Boat (That Got Ruined in the Boston Bomber's Standoff)!"

Henneberry's boat was reportedly a 22-foot Seahawk cruiser with a fiberglass hull, which retails for around $50,000. The effort raised $50,597.50 by April 30, when it closed.

He said that in the week's following the backyard capture, about 150 postcards, letters and packages poured in with well-wishes and thanks every day.

"One that really touched us was a package we got during this from Pound Middle School in Lincoln, Nebraska," Henneberry said. "I think every kid in the school wrote a letter. It's awesome. Nobody has looked at this without a tear in their eye."

"If there's one thing that sums up buying the boat and everything is, the bad guy didn't win," he said. "That's the way we're looking at it. He didn't take our passion."

media: 20449212

quicklist: 2title: Donations for Honest Homeless Man Top $147Ktext: Fundraising for a Boston homeless man named Glen James quickly took off when he was heralded as an honest guy after handing in a backpack he found that contained over $40,000 in cash and travelers checks in September 2013.

A campaign raised more than $147,300 in two weeks and is still going with a goal of $250,000.

Many people have contacted Ethan Whittington, the man who organized the fundraiser, about James and expressed interest in doing this for him including donating computers to James, providing him dental care and helping him find a job.

Whittington told that he planning on traveling to Boston this week to give James the money that has been raised.

Whittington has been in "complete shock" about the amount of money that has been raised.

"It's completely changing my life," he said. "It gets you thinking. Imagine the possibilities if we continue to do this as a nation. It's so inspiring to see the way that everyone is coming together."

Whittington said James is "ecstatic." He suggested to James the possibility of someone to help him with handling the money when he gets it.

"I want to be very careful about how we go about doing it," Whittington said. "It's a lot of money. If someone came up to me and handed me a hundred grand I wouldn't know what the hell to do with it."

The money has been raised by nearly 6,000 strangers. Donations and messages have poured in from all over the U.S. as well as countries as far as Brazil, France and Australia.

"I want this to come out to be a positive influence for his life, not for it to be completely out of control and then we have some horror story a couple of months from now," he said.

media: 20280643

quicklist: 3title: Barbara Garcia Getting Keys to New Hometext: From out of the rubble of Oklahoma's devastating tornadoes, including Barbara Garcia's home, emerged her missing dog on live television in a video that tugged at heartstrings everywhere.

Garcia was doing an interview with CBS News in front of where her home once stood in Moore, Okla., in June when her dog Bowser dug his way out of the rubble and the two were reunited.

Erin DeRuggiero of Minneapolis saw the video and started a page for Garcia. The fundraising effort raised $73,310 to help Garcia begin to rebuild.

"The house is done and she'll have the keys this week," DeRuggiero told

All of the money was transferred to Garcia who used a portion of it to build the house. She also used the money to help replace all of her other belongings which were lost in the tornado, including her car.

"She said that it's really made her grateful for humanity," DeRuggiero said. "There's a time when she was really questioning if people had good intentions and were capable of being kind as it was all crumbling down around her."

"This has really restored her faith in the kindness of strangers and what can be done when you don't even know somebody," DeRuggiero said. "There's no greater gift than to have been part of this."

When DeRuggiero saw the devastation in Oklahoma and the video of Garcia, she decided that she could turn her feeling of helplessness into action.

"This was just a way to really feel like, I know her name, I can do something," she said. "If everyone just starts with one person, that's a way we can really effect each other and impact change on a bigger scale."

media: 20447260

quicklist: 4title: Sarah Murnaghan Recovering from Lung Transplantstext: Eleven-year-old Sarah Murnaghan became a household name when her parents successfully fought a rule that prevented her from qualifying for adult lungs.

Sarah, who's battling cystic fibrosis, underwent two double lung transplants in June and went home at the end of August after a six-month stay at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

A page called "Friends of Sarah Murnaghan" was created by Sarah's mother Janet Murnaghan in June after an outpouring of support and people asking to make donations to help the family.

"We have been steadily receiving notes of encouragement for Sarah and many asking to fundraise for Sarah," Janet Murnaghan wrote on the page. "Therefore we have set up this fund that will be used to cover medical costs, rehabilitation over the remainder of the year and Sarah's future."

The donations page has already raised more than $20,000 from hundreds of people over the past three months.

"Obviously when families are dealing with illnesses that keep their children in hospitals for extensive lengths of time, the bills are stacking up," family spokeswoman Tracy Simon told this week. "The medical costs are a major issue for lots of families."

"[Sarah is] doing well," Simon said. "She's home and her lungs are working absolutely beautifully. She is the most incredible rockstar ever."

Simon said Sarah is working on building up her strength since her bones weakened and muscles deteriorated as she spent so much time immobile in the hospital.

Sarah's mother is extremely grateful for the kindness and support from strangers.

"She just looks at this as this extensive, supportive community that is just a blessing to have because so many strangers care and it's pretty special when something makes an impact this big," Simon said.

media: 20450642

quicklist: 5title: Tormented Bus Monitor Starts Anti-Bullying Foundationtext: When four middle school students were videotaped verbally tormenting their adult school bus monitor, there was an outpouring of support for the woman, 69-year-old Karen Klein.

The video showed the teens lobbing vicious insults and threats at Klein, at one point bringing her to tears. The video went viral, viewed more than 2 million times. The outrage and the response were just as great.

A Canadian man who started an online appeal for funds for Klein said he was hoping to raise $5,000. The campaign raised $703,168.

"It's really amazing," Klein said to the Associated Press in June of the enormous public support. She called the money "ridiculously more than I expected," and said her life has not changed much since receiving the money.

Klein used $100,000 to start the Karen Klein Anti-Bullying Foundation, spent some money on helping relatives and friends and put away the rest for retirement.

She retired after driving a bus for 20 years and then spending three years as a bus monitor. She is considering buying a motor home to do some traveling, but also wants to relax after having a pacemaker implanted in Mach, she told the AP.

"There's a lot of nice people out there, I have learned that," she said. "And to ignore the negative people."

media: 20449513

ABC News Live

ABC News Live

24/7 coverage of breaking news and live events