Donations Pour In For Homeless Man Who Returned Ring He Got By Mistake

Feb 26, 2013
Originally published on February 26, 2013 11:48 am

Nearly $152,000 has been donated online to help Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City who returned an engagement ring to the woman who accidentally left it in a cup he uses to collect change.

Here's his good news story:

Last Friday, as KCTV of Kansas City reported, Sarah Darling "unzipped her wallet and dumped her change" into Harris's cup. She'd forgotten, though, that earlier in the day she had taken off her diamond engagement ring and put it in her coin purse.

The next day, she retraced her steps. The Associated Press writes that "she went back to Harris, squatted beside him and told him that she might have given him something valuable. 'Was it a ring?' he recalled asking her. 'And she says, Yeah. And I said Well, I have it.' "

"It seemed like a miracle," Darling said, according to the AP. "I thought for sure there was no way I would get it back."

Darling says she gave Harris all the cash she had with her in thanks. Then her husband, Bill Krejci, launched a Give Forward page to collect money for Harris. As of mid-morning Tuesday, close to $152,000 had been pledged. Krejci wrote over the weekend that he had spoken with Harris "about what he's planning to do with the donations. The details would be better left for later but know that he has a very solid plan and a very solid way of making it happen."

As for why Harris didn't pawn the ring when he had the chance, he told KCTV that "my grandfather was a reverend. He raised me from the time I was 6 months old and thank the good Lord, it's a blessing, but I do still have some character."

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