On Monday we introduced you to Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City, Mo., who showed tremendous character by returning a diamond-and-platinum engagement ring that was accidentally dropped into his cup.
His story drew international attention, including spots on NBC's Today Show and CNN, and now Harris' future is looking much brighter thanks to the generosity of well-wishers from all over the world.
Sarah Darling, the owner of the ring, and her husband, Bill Krejci, were so moved by Harris' selflessness that they started an online fund for him. As of 11 p.m. last night, Harris' page on the GiveForward web site had surpassed $16,000. The fundraiser will continue until May 15.
Most of the donations are in the $10 to $20 range, but one was as high as $500. The site posts comments from the donors as well as non-monetary "hugs" from supporters.
In a "hug" posted by Tracy, she wrote, "You have such a golden heart! What a joy it is to read news like this! I hope we all get to hear updates on how you are doing! You have touched so many lives, hearts, and souls Mr. Harris!"
“The idea was maybe to come up with a couple hundred dollars, something nice for him,” Krejci told the New York Daily News. “But now we’re talking about an amount that could really make a difference.”
In explaining why he didn't try to sell the ring, Harris told KCTV5, “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.”