Sarah Darling dropped her spare change into the cup of a homeless man. The problem is she had placed her engagement ring in her change purse for safekeeping and didn't notice until later that the ring was missing. She went looking for him the next day, but didn't find him. The homeless man, Billy Ray Harris, told the local news KCTC that he knew if the ring was real that it was an expensive ring. He figured the owner would be back and decided to keep it safe rather than to pawn it.
“The ring was so big that I knew if it was real, it was expensive.” – Billy Ray Harris KCTV
Choosing to do the right thing
Billy Ray Harris, who sleeps under a bridge, discovered the ring about an hour after Ms. Darling dropped it into his cup. He told KCTV that he suspected the ring was real because of the way the light glittered off the diamond. "I had that little devil on my shoulder saying, 'Keep the money, keep the money,'" Harris said. Even though he could have used the money he didn't fall to the temptation. He chose to do the right thing and held on to the ring because he figured the owner would be back for it.
Two days later Ms. Darling found Harris. She squatted down in front him and asked, "Do you remember me?" Harris sees so many faces each day he was unsure. Then she said, "I might have given you something very valuable." Harris asked if it was the ring. When she said yes, he let her know he had it.
"‘Do you remember me?’ And I was like ‘I don’t know, I see a lot of faces’. She says ‘I might have gave you something very valuable’. I said ‘Was it a ring?’ And she says ‘yeah’. And I said ‘Well I have it’." – Billy Ray Harris KCTV
Billy Ray Harris doesn't have a home or a bank account, and when the story broke on KCTV5 the station was contacted by dozens of people who wanted to donate something to help the homeless man for doing the right thing.
Internet campaign set up to give back
An internet campaign has been set up to raise $1,000 for this homeless man. As of the morning of February 26 a little more than $150,000 had been raised with 79 more days left to give before the 90-day appeal would end.
As to whether or not Billy Ray Harris is homeless he says it depends on your definition of homeless.
"Under the good Lord's purposes, I'm not homeless because I've got the biggest roof in the world over my head." – Billy Ray Harris KCTV
As a child, Harris was raised by his grandfather who was a reverend. The homeless Harris attributes his choice to return the ring to his religious background.