Many might believe that the homeless are highly likely to be rough or even unkind—their experiences on the streets such as sleeping on an empty stomach without anything to keep them warm may tend to make them a bit rough. However, the homeless who are often victims of violence and poverty might be the most empathetic and kind people in the society. An example of such people is Billy Ray Harris who proved that human people exist by returning an important item to the woman who had dropped it in his cup unknowingly.
Early 2013, Billy Ray Harris was a homeless man living under a bridge in Kansas City in Missouri. The 55-years-old relied on spare change from strangers to buy food. It was still an ordinary day for Billy, and he was still in his usual place called The Plaza when Sarah saw him asking for pocket change.
Sarah Darling, a wealthy woman from Kansas City, approached and emptied everything from her coin purse to the homeless man’s cup without checking and left immediately.
It was not until an hour later that Harris looked at his cup and found a large diamond and platinum ring. In his statement at KCTV5, Harris said, “the ring was so big that I knew if it was real, it was expensive.”
You would have expected a homeless man to seize the opportunity and sell the engagement ring for at least $4,000. However, Billy Ray decided to hold on to the ring with the hope that Sarah would return.
Sarah Darling did not realize the loss of her ring until the following day.
The loss of the ring, which was not only expensive but of high sentimental value to Sarah, left her distraught. Two days later, Darling decided to visit The Plaza where she found Billy.
Billy did not recognize Sarah at first, but then realized she was the owner of the highly expensive ring. He reached out from his pocket and gave Sarah her most valuable gift. Sarah described this as a miracle, acknowledging his honesty by rewarding him everything that she had in her wallet.
Most people in Billy’s situation would have considered using the ring to start a new life. KCTV also raised the same question to Billy, who responded by saying that his grandfather who raised him from when he was 6 months old had taught him the importance of good morals and character while growing up which he still upholds up to date.
Sarah, on the other hand, pointed out the tendency to jump into conclusion in and never pay attention to anyone out there. This stops us from realizing that there are plenty of good people out there.
Sarah and her husband Bill Krejci then launched a fundraiser for Harris to show their appreciation for his heroic act. The couple had a target of $1,000, but they ended up collecting more than $190,000. The contributions have helped Billy put a down payment on a house and buy a car. Sarah and her husband are now part of Billy Ray’s life, and they have helped him reunite with his family.
“I was worried about them, they were worried about me … no one knew anything. My little sister had been looking for me on Craigslist,” he said.
“This is great, this means the world,” his sister Robin said.
Billy Ray has a history of honesty to the people on the streets. He recalls a situation where he found a Super Bowl ring belonging to one of the Oakland Raiders players. The player who was very drunk jumped in a creek losing his Super Bowl ring, but Billy later found the ring on the sidewalk. Billy located the player in a hotel where he returned the ring. To repay his kind act, they gifted him a three-night stay at a fancy hotel and a generous reward from the Oakland Raiders player.
A small act of kindness is bound to change anyone’s life in a blink of an eye. Billy Ray was a man who had been staying and sleeping on the streets begging people to drop some change in his cup. That did not stop him from returning the ring to the owner even if it was tempting to use it for personal gain given his situation.
His strong morality won the hearts of many people who contributed towards taking him off from the streets. Remember that the person begging for change in your neighborhood is not a stranger or as dangerous as you think they are, they are as human and worthy as anyone else around you.