Donations for homeless who returned diamond ring exceed $100k
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Donations for homeless who returned diamond ring exceed $100k

Dallas : TX : USA | Feb 23, 2013 at 1:56 PM PST
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On February 10, a Kansas City homeless man by the name of Billy Ray Harris returned a valuable platinum and diamond engagement ring to its rightful owner, Sarah Darling.

Sarah Darling told CNN, "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. I feel like it has such great karma."

Now, hundreds of donors have contributed through GiveForward.com and donated more than $100,000 to help Billy Ray Harris start a new life.

Not only that, the media has helped him reunite with his brother living in Lubbock, Texas, after almost 30 years.

Darling, who had never taken her ring off her finger, took it off on Feb. 9 when it caused her a rash. She then zipped it in her purse, in which there were some coins. She lost her ring when she dropped it into Billy’s cup of charity along with change.

"It was horrible. It was such a feeling of loss," Darling said. "It meant so much to me beyond just the financial value."

When Darling and her husband went back to look for the ring the next day, the man returned the ring to them.

She said when she returned the next day, "I asked him ... 'I don't know if you remember me, but I think I gave you something that's very precious to me,' and he said, 'Was it a ring? Yeah, I have it, I kept it for you.'"

She was overwhelmed with happiness.

For the honesty shown by the homeless man, they gave the man all the cash they had, around $40 to $60. Darling and her husband set up an online fundraiser page on giveforward.com for Harris.

Funds started to pour into GiveForward.com from around the world. In the coming 90 days anyone can donate money.

"In life what goes around comes around... Billy - your sweet actions, despite being in dire straits yourself, prove that there is humility in the world... you are one shining example. Lots of love from across the pond," stated Chris and Mel. They gave $20.

"I am from Singapore and I greatly am grateful for your honesty!", posted Ophelia Wong Zen-na. She gave $10.

Another donor said, "If I wasn't jobless I would give much more, but felt compelled to do something. Billy Ray do your best to become what you've always dreamed you could be. Its never too late. God Bless and thanks for never loosing your character in tough times."

The money will be given to Harris at the end of a 90-day campaign.

When KCTV asked Harris how he felt about all the attention he was getting from people after returning the ring, the homeless man said his grandfather raised him since he was six, and it was his grandfather’s upbringing that caused him to return the ring.

"I like it, but I don't think I deserve it," he said.

"What I actually feel like is, 'what has the world come to when a person who returns something that doesn't belong to him and all this happens?'" Harris said.

Darling said she is just thankful for what he did. She said that many other people would have kept the ring or sold it.

"I really just hope that my kind of flightiness in that moment leads to something really good for him," she said.

Avaline is based in Islamabad, Federal Capital Area, Pakistan, and is a Reporter on Allvoices.
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