The honestly of homeless Kansas man Billy Ray has fired the imagination of  overseas homeowners and those touched by the story of Bill Ray. More than 6000 people from all over the world have made small donations as a thanyou for reminding us that good values can still be maintained even when you are down and out.


Just a few weeks ago Mr Harris was homeless, spending his nights beneath a bridge and his days in a square in Kansas City, asking passers-by for change.


Then a young woman accidentally dropped a diamond engagement ring into his coffee cup.

Mr Harris returned the ring to its distraught owner when she came back the following day, and shortly thereafter became the beneficiary of a campaign that has raised more than $141,000 from donors all over the world. reports that Darling, from Kansas City, Missouri explained how she ended up handing over her ring to a panhandler at the Country Club Plaza: "My rings were bothering me, so I put them in my coin purse." She mistakenly threw the ring along with spare change into the panhandler's cup.


The Huffington Post reports it wasn't until the next day that she realized she had lost her engagement ring. She said: "I was so incredibly upset because, more than just the value of the ring, it had sentimental value."


"The ring was so big that I knew if it was real, it was expensive," Harris told KCTV.

Darling was horrified when she realised the next day what she had done. She went back to Harris, squatted beside him and told him that she might have given him something valuable.


Sarah said she was thrilled to get her ring back.

"'Was it a ring?"' he recalled asking her. "And she says, 'Yeah.' And I said 'Well, I have it.' "

Darling gave Harris all the cash she had in her wallet at the time.

"It seemed like a miracle," Darling said. "I thought for sure there was no way I would get it back."

In explaining why he didn't keep the ring, Harris said he had a religious upbringing.

"My grandfather was a reverend," Harris said.

"He raised me from the time I was six-months-old and thank the good Lord, it's a blessing, but I do still have some character."


Online fundraising, which now bankrolls films and helped to put President Obama in the White House, has given Mr Harris enough money to buy a three-bedroom house in Kansas City.


The gifts kept coming yesterday, from donors in Asia, Europe and America. "Hoping that your future is brighter that your past, and that your best memories in life are yet to come," wrote a donor called Gerry from Britain, who gave $20, one of several thousand donations.

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  1. avatar
    Nick Marr

    I am an internet entrepreneur with a passion for driving big audiences and a love for real estate. I have had plenty of ups and downs which has given me the experience to help others launch their own businesses. I enjoy projects that save consumers time and money, challenge convention and add real value to peoples lives.