Billy Ray HarrisA lot of national attention has been showered on Billy Ray Harris, a panhandler in Missouri, after he returned a diamond engagement ring that accidentally dropped into his cup when a woman was pouring in the contents of her change purse.

The woman’s husband, Bill Krejci, was so grateful for the honest man’s efforts to return the ring, and so many friends asked how they could help, that a fundraising page was set up for Billy Ray on Feb. 14.

As of this morning, Feb. 23, the Give Forward page just passed $100,000.

“Words cannot express how it feels to be a part of something like this,” wrote Krejci after only $15K had been donated.

Harris was raised by his grandfather, a reverend, so the simple act of “returning something that doesn’t belong to you” did not seem to him deserving of so much attention.

But when a reporter from KCTV told Billy Ray they received a call from his long lost sister in Texas, the man’s eyes lit up and he called it the best reward of all. A reunion by telephone was imminent and his “baby sister” extended an open invitation to come live in Texas.

Krejci and his fiancé have already helped fix Harris’s bicycle — an activity he dearly loves. (A BMX bicycle is next!) And this update was posted yesterday:

Billy Ray and I got together for an hour or so yesterday afternoon.

We talked about a lot of things related to my family’s ring and the many donations. We talked about one day in the future the ring may one day be passed down to my daughter. We talked about how insanely positive all this has been. We talked about what he’s planning to do with the donations. The details would be better left for later, but know that he has a very solid plan and a very solid way of making it happen.

(FOLLOW the developing story on the fundraising page)


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