Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 December 2014

Rich dividends for honest beggar

A US couple have set up a website seeking donations for a homeless man who returned a lost engagement ring
A US couple have set up a website seeking donations for a homeless man who returned a lost engagement ring

A homeless US man will soon have well over 100,000 dollars (£65,972) after returning an engagement ring to a woman who accidentally dropped it in his cup.

Sarah Darling's fiance set up a website seeking donations for Billy Ray Harris, who frequently begs on Kansas City's Country Club Plaza. By Monday, more than 6,000 people had donated more than 145,000 dollars (£95.704) to the fund.

"I think in our world we often jump to like the worst conclusion, and it just makes you realise that there are good people out there," Miss Darling said.

Mr Harris discovered the ring about an hour after Miss Darling dumped spare change from her coin purse into his cup. She had taken off her ring earlier that day and put it with the coins.

"The ring was so big that I knew if it was real, it was expensive," Mr Harris told KCTV.

Miss Darling was horror struck when she realised the next day what she had done. She went back to Mr 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.' "

Miss Darling gave Mr Harris all the cash she had in her wallet at the time.

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

In explaining why he didn't keep the ring, Mr Harris said he had a religious upbringing. He said: "My grandfather was a reverend. He raised me from the time I was six months old and thank the good Lord, it's a blessing, but I do still have some character."

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