Sarah Darling of Kansas City was shopping in the city’s Country Club Plaza district last Friday when she spotted a homeless man asking for change. She emptied her coin purse into Billy Ray Harris’s collection cup and continued on her way, not realizing that she had accidentally donated her diamond and platinum engagement ring along with her spare change.
“My rings were bothering me, so I put them in my coin purse,” Darling told KCTV.
Harris didn’t notice the ring until an hour later. “The ring was so big that I knew if it was real, it was expensive,” he said.
Darling realized what she had done when she went to put her rings on the next day. “I was so incredibly upset because, more than just the value of the ring, it had sentimental value,” she explained.
She tracked the homeless man down the next day. Harris described the encounter to KCTV:
“She squatted down like you did like right there and says ‘Do you remember me?’ And I was like, ‘I don’t know. I see a lot of faces.’ She says, ‘I might have gave you something very valuable.’ I said, ‘Was it a ring?’ And she says, ‘Yeah.’ And I said ‘Well, I have it,’” Harris said.
“My grandfather was a reverend,” the homeless man explained when asked why he didn’t sell the valuable piece of jewelry. “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.”
Darling thanked Harris by giving him all the cash she had in her wallet.
“I think in our world we often jump to like the worst conclusion, and it just makes you realize that there are good people out there,” she said.