Every once and a while, a story comes along that makes you feel good about the world. Here is one of those stories! Great news: there are still delightfully good and honest people in existence!
Chances are you drop some change in panhandlers’ cups from time to time. It’s a small gesture that makes you feel good, like you’re banking a few karma points. Or maybe you’ve gone an extra step and bought them dinner, or given them an extra sweatshirt in the cold weather. Have you ever given even more than that? Say, a pricy piece of jewelry? In Kansas City, a woman named Sarah Darling accidentally dropped her engagement ring into Billy Ray Harris’s change cup. He returned it, and has benefited both financially and personally.
When Darling came looking for her ring, Harris gladly returned it. Since then, their story has received plenty of media attention, and Harris has received support and donations from around the country – enough to help get him a new home.
Harris has also been reunited with family he hasn’t seen in years – family who believed him to be deceased. His sister recognized him in coverage of the story, made contact and has put him in touch with other family members, too. They’re even having a family reunion over the summer. They have a lot to catch up on!
Darling and her fiancé, Bill Krejci, are just plain grateful for Harris’s generosity. They wanted to do something to thank him, so they set up a GiveForward fundraising page. At time of press, the page has raised over $183,000, all of which will go directly to him. And, there’s still time left to donate.
If Harris had kept the ring, what would he have done with it? Stare at it? Wear it? Sell it? Sure, he’d have been able to make a few thousand dollars, but that’s nothing compared to the touching story this has become. I don’t even think the thought crossed his mind. Giving the ring back wasn’t even a question, just the right thing to do.
What have we learned here? Honesty is the best policy. Whether it’s as serious as returning expensive jewelry or not. Harris didn’t return the ring because he wanted to be on the Today Show and on the front page of the internet. He did it because he believed it was the right thing to do.
“It just makes you realize good people are out there,” said Darling, and she sums it up well. Indeed there are.
What’s Harris up to now? He’s not living on the street anymore, and he’s working for a band as a roadie. So you might say…
“Lookin’ good, Billy Ray!”
-“Feelin’ good, Lewis!”
(Trading Places? Anyone?)
Featured image via GiveForward