Homeless Man’s Good Deed Earns Him $16,000 and Counting 23 Feb 13

At some point nearly everyone comes across something valuable that doesn’t belong to him and is faced with the age old dilemma of whether to give it back or follow the ‘finders keepers’ philosophy. Billy Ray Harris, a Kansas City, Mo. homeless man, found himself in such a predicament around two weeks ago when Sarah Darling accidently dropped her platinum and diamond engagement ring into his change cup. Although many in such humble circumstances would have kept the ring, Harris gladly returned it when Darling came looking for the ring the next day. In appreciation, a webpage was set up for Harris on GiveForward.com, which has now accumulated $16,000 for the do-gooder.

When the story first aired on KCTV, Sarah Darling explained that on the day of the accidental donation her ring was bothering her finger, so she placed it in her coin purse. Later, she came across Harris and put some change in his cup without remembering her ring was mixed in with the coins. The next day she realized her ring was missing and went back to the same street to see if by chance Harris was there and still had the ring. Luckily for her, and as it turns out for Harris, he still had it and didn’t hesitate to give it back.

Darling immediately gave Harris all the money she had in her wallet, around $40 to $60, but when the story made the news many more people asked what they could do for Harris. Inspired by the kind deed and the public’s desire to help, web designer Bill Krejci set up a page for Harris on GiveForward.com with the goal of raising $1,000 in three months. Instead, the page accumulated $16,000 worth of donations in a matter of days.

Perhaps even better than getting the money, all the publicity surrounding Harris has enabled him to reconnect with his sister and brother, who he lost touch with 27 years ago. His siblings’ hope that Harris will return home to Texas to live with their family.