A homeless Kansas City man who returned an engagement ring a woman accidentally dropped in to his cup last Friday is reaping the benefits of the mantra “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
For Sarah Darling and husband Bill Krejci, simply thanking Billy Ray Harris (pictured) for holding on to their ring wasn’t enough. Nor was giving the homeless man all the money they had the day he returned it to them. So days later, they decided to step it up, starting a financial support campaign for Harris.
“My wife was interviewed, and I noticed that on some websites people were asking how they could help Billy Ray,” Krecjci told the New York Daily News. “That’s when I got the idea to start the campaign.”
Krejci went to fundraising site GiveForward and started a donation’s page for Harris, which will remain active for the next 90 days. As of Tuesday evening, the page has garnered almost $14,000.
And it continues to grow.
“A couple of days ago we noticed it was really starting to gain traction,” Nate St. Pierre, GiveForward’s director Of communications, told the News. “He (Krejci) put the goal at $1,000, and had no idea it would get so big.”
Krejci says the response was far beyond what he expected. “The idea was maybe to come up with a couple hundred dollars, something nice for him,” he said. “But now we’re talking about an amount that could really make a difference.”
In an interview with KCTV 5, Harris said that holding on to the ring was a product of how he was raised. “My grandfather was a reverend,” Harris noted. “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.”
But getting the money to Harris may be another challenge, according to Krejci. “I went down to try and tell him, but I couldn’t find him. “My main concern is his privacy. I don’t want people bugging him.”
Hopefully, that problem will be resolved shortly. The fund-raiser is scheduled to run until May 15th. You can donate here.