Response to KCTV story on homeless man returning ring goes viral, results in massive donations

Billy Ray Harris, the homeless man who made national news after KCTV reported on how he returned a lost engagement ring, may be homeless no more.

After Harris gave the ring back to Sarah Darling, she and her fiance set up a donations page at GiveForward‘s site. The site, which was Kickstarter before Kickstarter and raises money for good causes, is run by Prairie Village native Desi Vargas Wrigley.

The donations now sit at more than $139,000 – with 81 days left in the fundraising effort. More than 5,600 people from across the world have donated.

“What an example for our future generations,” wrote the Pendergast Family on the site.

Nathasha Wendt of London wrote, “You are an honest man with values and morals rarely seen in todays society. I wish you all the very best and I hope this money helps you with the rest of your years in this world. May god bless you.”

“I saw your history I think you deserve a better life and an opportunity. You are a good man. I hope this help you,” wrote Juan V., from Spain.

Bill Krejci, Darling’s fiance, wrote yesterday that he met with Billy Ray, who is now off the streets:

Billy Ray and I got together for an hour or so yesterday afternoon. He’s had some problems with his bike so we visited his regular shop and put some new tires and tubes on. Billy Ray is very much into bikes and used to be in a bike club. We joked that he should switch to riding BMX. This WILL happen.

We talked about a lot of things related to my family’s ring and the many donations. We talked about one day in the future the ring may one day be passed down to my daughter. We talked about how insanely positive all this has been. We talked about what he’s planning to do with the donations. The details would be better left for later but know that he has a very solid plan and a very solid way of making it happen. He had a short and sweet message to give to all of you that I tried to remember, but it escapes me. Next time I’ll get video — this time that would have been a bit weird.

We talked about how his father and my father both fought in Vietnam.

All in all, a feel-good story, powered by social media.


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