The homeless man who returned a diamond engagement ring that was accidentally dropped into his spare change cup has received over $15,000 in charitable donations.
In Kansas City, Missouri, Sarah Darling dumped her change purse into Billy Ray Harris’ cup, forgetting that her engagement ring was mixed in with the change. Harris, realizing that he had an expensive diamond ring in his cup, decided to keep it safe until he could return it to its rightful owner. Darling came back the next day and Harris gave her the ring. In return, she and her husband, Bill Krejci, gave him all the money in their wallets, about $60.
Now, Harris is being rewarded again for his honesty. Krejci, who is a Web designer, said he wanted to do something more Harris. He noticed that people were looking for ways they, too, could help Harris. Krecji then got the idea to start a campaign on GiveForward, where he will be collecting donations for Harris over the next 90 days.
At the time of this writing, donations had reached $15,434, surpassing the original goal of $1,000 over 15 times. Individual donations ranged from $1 to $500. The fundraiser will end May 15.
Krejci told the New York Daily News, “The idea was maybe to come up with a couple hundred dollars, something nice for him. But now we’re talking about an amount that could really make a difference.”
Nate St. Pierre, director of communications for GiveForward, added, “A couple of days ago we noticed it was really starting to gain traction. He put the goal at $1,000, and had no idea it would get so big.”
Krejci said, so far, he has been unable to find Harris to tell him about the campaign.
“I went down to try and tell him, but I couldn’t find him,” Krejci said. “My main concern is his privacy. I don’t want people bugging him.”
Krejci also said he is working with GiveForward to figure out the best way to give the money to Harris.
“My feeling is that he’s not going to go out and do something stupid with the money,” Krejci said. “He’s just a really cool guy, and I’m hoping this will give him a better foundation.”