KANSAS CITY, Mo. (CBS St. Louis) – A good deed has resulted in an outpouring of generosity for a homeless man who believed honesty to be the best policy.
According to United Press International, the story began when local resident Sarah Darling accidentally dropped a diamond engagement ring into the collection cup of Billy Ray Harris.
She had reportedly stored the ring in her coin purse because it was irritating her skin. But when she passed Harris and gave him her spare change, she accidentally tossed the ring in with her donation.
When she realized her error, she sought out Harris. And when she found him two days later, he handed her back the ring, adding that he had held onto it for safekeeping until he crossed her path again.
“I actually feel like I’m especially lucky to have this ring now. I loved it before. I loved it so much, but I love it so much more now,” Darling said during an interview with Soledad O’Brien on her CNN show “Starting Point.” “I feel like it has such great karma.”
Touched by Harris’ good deed, Darling and her husband, Bill Krejci, decided to return the favor by starting up a collection web page through Give Forward to raise money for him.
“After friends expressed interest in helping out Billy Ray I put this site together to take donations for him,” Krejci wrote on the page. “All donations will be given directly to Billy Ray at the end of the 90 day GiveForeward [sic] Campaign. Thank you for your generosity.”
Harris told KCTV that he appreciated the gesture, but that he was simply acting in accordance with his values.
He explained, “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.”