The happy ending keeps getting happier for Billy Ray Harris. Two months ago, the homeless man who gained notice on the Web when he returned an engagement ring put in his change cup accidentally, now has a home, a part-time job, and his long-lost family.
The Kansas City, Mo., man was befriended by Sarah Darling, whose engagement ring he returned. Wanting to help, Darling and her husband, Bill, set up a fund for Harris. They hoped to raise the $4,000 he had been offered by a jewelry store on the spot for the diamond ring. Instead of selling, the 55-year-old decided to wait to see if Darling would come back for the ring. A couple of days later, she did.
As word of the story spread, so did generosity to Harris. The fund now has more than $186,000 from 8,000-plus donors. More than money, Harris has received the priceless gift of reuniting with family he hadn’t seen in 16 years. His sister, Robin Harris Williams, recognized her older brother when the story of the ring in the change cup first began circulating.
Williams tracked him down from her home in Texas. The relatives planned a reunion for the summer. But the "Today" show surprised Harris by bringing his siblings to the morning program on Sunday. Harris said, as his family sat with him, "This was a total shock." He added, "Got it all right here now."