Update: A fundraiser has been set up to pay back Billy Ray for his good deed and to help him get back on his feet. To donate, please go to giveforward.com
A homeless man in Missouri surprised one woman when he gave back the engagement ring she had accidentally given him when she was handing him change.
Billy Ray Harris was on a street, needing some money, when Sarah Darling took some change out of her coin purse and placed it in his orange cup.
It turns out, Darling gave him more than change, she gave him her diamond ring.
She said she took off her rings because they were bothering her, and she put them in her coin purse.
It wasn’t until the next day that she had noticed what she’d done.
“I was so incredibly upset because, more than just the value of the ring, it had sentimental value,” she said.
Darling thought she would never see the ring again. Despite her doubts, she returned to the homeless man and asked him if he had something of hers.
“She squatted down like you did like right there and says, ‘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,’” Harris explained.
He gave her the ring.
“It seemed like a miracle. I thought for sure there was no way I would get it back,” Darling said.
It was a surprising turn of events, as he could have easily pawned the jewelry and used it to start a new life.
But Harris was raised better than 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,” he said.
Darling said people often jump to the worst conclusion too quickly, and forget that there are good people in the world.
This isn’t the first time Harris has found a valuable ring and returned it. One time, Harris found the Super Bowl ring of a retired Raiders player by the side of a creek.
He returned it to the hotel where the Raiders player was staying and told the desk clerk to give it back to him. Harris received a generous reward and a three-night stay in the Rafael Hotel.
Darling rewarded Harris for returning her ring by giving him all of the cash she had in her wallet.