Honesty really is the best policy

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, February 21, 2013

A few weeks ago, a Kansas City, Mo. woman had one of the worst days of her life. For the same reason, a homeless man could have had one of his best days.

Instead, Billy Ray Harris held on to the valuable platinum and diamond engagement ring Sarah Darling accidentally placed in his change cup.

Darling had taken her ring off earlier in the day because of an irritation and forgot that she had placed it in her coin purse. She simply emptied her coin purse into Harris’ cup.

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It was a full day later that Darling realized her mistake. When she approached Harris, he was happy to return the ring, KCTV in Kansas City reported.

The homeless man reportedly told media that his grandfather, who was a pastor, raised him since he was six months old. He said it was because of his grandfather that he knew right from wrong, and to keep the woman’s precious ring would be wrong.

When Darling retrieved her ring, she gave Harris all the money she had on her, about $40-$60.

But Harris’ financial reward didn’t stop there.

A web designer, inspired by comments on media websites from folks asking how they could help, created an account on GiveForward.com where anyone can donate money to Harris for the next 90 days.

Yahoo! News reports that donations from as little as $5 up to $500 have poured in. Hundreds of donors have given more than $16,000 to help Harris get his life back on track.

The goal was simply to raise $1,000.

Media outlets are reporting that, on top of the money, Harris has been reconnected with a brother in Lubbock, Texas he hasn’t seen in about 30 years.

Harris’ brother, Edwin, hopes to bring him back to Texas in mid-March. The two have been searching for each other for a long time.

A sister, Robin, has even reached out to the homeless man.

For now, Harris is staying with “a guy who helps run sound for a band,” Yahoo! News reported.

Harris was honest. He asked for nothing for keeping Darling’s ring safe until she returned. He could have pawned the gem and headed for parts unknown.

Instead, he did a good deed that is being paid back by others, all over, who were touched by Harris story and belief that honesty, really is the best policy.