A homeless US man will soon have well over $150,000 (£98,000) after he returned an engagement ring to a woman who accidentally dropped it in his cup earlier this month.
Sarah Darling’s fiancé set up a website seeking donations for Billy Ray Harris, who frequently panhandles on Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza. By Tuesday morning, more than 6,000 people had donated more than $148,000 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,” Ms Darling said.
Mr Harris discovered the ring about an hour after 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.
Ms Darling was upset 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.
Ms Darling gave Mr Harris all the cash she had in her wallet at the time.
“It seemed like a miracle,” Ms Darling said. “I thought for sure there was no way I would get it back.”
In explaining why he did not keep the ring, Mr Harris said he had a religious upbringing.
“My grandfather was a reverend,” Mr Harris said. “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.”