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Sunday, February 24, 2013

Apparently a Homeless Man Has Much to Offer

Recently Billy Ray Harris, a homeless man in Kansas City, made national news for his honesty and integrity.  As a way of saying thank you, many have donated to a fund to help this worthy individual (see http://www.giveforward.com/billyray/). Billy Ray has been a friend of mine since 2008.  The following is a personal journal entry I made in 2008 on the night I met Billy Ray.

Apparently a Homeless Man Has Much to Offer

Tonight I have been so lonely and empty.  I interviewed today for a job in Kansas City, a city I don't know, all alone, feeling the hurt of some very special people in my life.  I didn't have anyone to talk to, no one to eat dinner with, no one to do something with...all at a time that should be very exciting because of other things going on.  Lonely...empty.  I can't take this job even it it's offered.  I wouldn't be able to stand this kind of loneliness while traveling.  Then again, I'd be lonely anywhere right now no matter who I was with.

 

I asked the desk clerk where I could go to dinner where I could be around other people.  He directed me to a place called Country Club Plaza. As I arrived, my daughter Haley called, and I walked along the street with many other people while talking to her.  I was listening to her, and giving a half-hearted effort toward looking for some place where I could watch people or somehow feel part of a community.  I walked by a black homeless man who asked me for money, and it was very easy to say "not now" while I continued to talk on the phone.

 

Suddenly it hit me that I could ask a homeless man to have dinner with me.  I told Haley what I was about to do, and she let me off the phone.  I knelt beside the homeless man who was sitting on all his worldly possessions in a back pack.  He was begging for money, but he was also reading a newspaper.  There was something different about him.

 

I told him I was from out of town, and quite frankly I was kind of lonely.  I told him it would be an honor for me if he would have dinner with me.  He made excuses, looked uncomfortable, but with some small prodding, he said, "Well, I have to be somewhere by 8:30, but I guess I could do some carry out."  (The time was 7PM.)  We started walking together.  He was articulate, intelligent, engaging...just homeless.  I met Billy Ray.

 

Billy Ray took me to a famous BBQ place in KC.  According to him, you're not considered a native of the area until you've had KC BBQ.  A few people stared at Billy Ray as we walked in.  He wasn't exactly the dirtiest homeless person I've ever met, although he did have a slight odor.  Honestly, I didn't care.  I saw in him a companion who was saving me from something...but we'll get to that.  He was my friend, and I was truly happy to be with him.

 

We talked.  He is from Wichita Falls Texas, moved to KC, painted houses, divorced, lost his job, and became homeless.  One winter he nearly froze because the parks and recreation people came and took all his stuff...his sleeping bag, his blankets, everything.  He was so distraught he didn't know what to do.  As he wandered aimlessly down the side walk, a woman pulled up next to him and asked if he would like the stuff in her trunk.  Included in the stuff was a brand new sleeping bag.  He couldn't take everything, of course.  He could take only the things he could carry.  After all, Billy Ray is homeless, and homeless people have to travel lightly.  Billy Ray doesn't believe in asking God for his needs.  He prays only for guidance.  He figures God already knows his needs, and God has never let him down yet.  He keeps a positive attitude.

 

I asked Billy Ray if he was lonely.  He is.  He talked about the difference between being lonely and being alone.  It seems that we both kind of needed each other tonight.  I fought back tears, many times unsuccessfully throughout the meal.  I tried not to weep openly, and yet tears streamed down my face more than once, and my eyes were moist nearly all the time (as they are even now).  Billy Ray didn't care, and he didn't probe.  He just listened, and talked, and made me feel like it was ok to be me, including tears.

 

We talked about sin.  I think he brought up the topic, but I can't remember for sure.  According to Billy Ray, the worst sin a person could commit is unfaithfulness.  We spoke of our specific issues of guilt, forgiveness, and renewed faith.  I was so surprised by his wisdom.  He spoke truth to me, but he somehow mixed in the right amount of grace.  I'm not sure how he did it, but he didn't let me off the hook for sin in my life, and yet I never felt he was judging me.  Never once did I feel that I wasn't his friend any more.  Oh how I cried.  We talked about forgiveness and starting anew, and...so many things.  I think I realized at dinner that we're all homeless in some ways.  In fact, Jesus was homeless, literally.  It's just that some of us are homeless because we've lost our bearings and the compass of our souls while others simply lose a roof over their heads.  Billy Ray has the biggest roof of all over his head...or at least that's what he said.

 

I asked Billy Ray if he was happy.  I told him that when I see a homeless person, I never really know how I can help.  But then again, if Jesus was homeless, and if a homeless person is happy, maybe my help really isn't help.  By the way...he's happy, but he doesn't want to be homeless.  He has dignity and pride in the positive sense of the word.

 

We talked about the real challenges of a homeless person finding work.  He said that a homeless person can't exactly get a job in a restaurant because it's difficult to practice good hygiene.  People don't want you around the food, and he wouldn't do anything to embarrass an employer.  It's hard to get a job where you have to be clean.  He can't always take a bath.  Sometimes the kids will soap the fountain near where I found him so they can frolic in the suds.  Billy Ray gets in and plays with them...but his real purpose is to take a bath.  Anyway, unless a job comes with a uniform that is cleaned by the employer, a homeless guy has a hard time finding a job.  About the only area where you can come to work dirty is in construction.  And it's hard to find a construction job in a location that has some of the needs of a homeless person (like shelters and food kitchens). 

 

I asked Billy Ray what a person could do to really help a homeless person.  I honestly didn't know.  I said, Let's say for example that I had $50-$100 to give you.  How could that help you the most.  His answer surprised me.  He said what he needed most was a cell phone.  You can't get a job if people can't call you.  Without a cell phone, you have to go there every day to see if they're hiring.  Then if you skip a day, they may hire someone else since you weren't here.  You see, most people don't give the same courtesy to a homeless guy that they would give to someone else...either that, or they just don't know how the world works for a person who doesn't have an address or a phone #.

 

So Billy Ray and I went to find a cell phone.  We were looking for one of those pre-paid things where you get X amount of minutes, and when those are done you can buy X amount of minutes more.  We came close to making a deal with the sales clerk when I wondered if I could add minutes to his phone when he needed them.  Could I continue to help Billy Ray even though I was so far away?  Then it struck me.  Why not add Billy Ray to my cell phone plan?  Instead of him scraping and saving every possible minute, why not pay $10/month and just let him be my family.  Heck, we even look alike.  People might think we're brothers or something! 

 

On this night, Billy Ray was more than my brother.  He was an angel sent from God.  He even told me that maybe we met tonight because I needed him more than he needed me.  I cried again, because he was so right. 

 

When a person loses their way, God has a unique way of starting the process of recovery.  I needed Billy Ray tonight.  My night went from the worst possible to one of the coolest experiences of my life.  Don't get me wrong.  I'm still lonely.  But at least tonight I felt like I had a soul again.  Maybe there's hope after all.  Billy Ray may be homeless in terms of walls and a roof, but I needed a home for my heart.

 

 

169 comments:

  1. Everyone has something to offer given the opportunity. You gave Billy Ray back his dignity by allowing him to help you. This is a life-changing story, not just for the two of you, but for everyone who reads it. Thank you both for sharing and making us all aware that small acts of kindness can lead to big changes. Sometimes we need to be reminded that no matter how down we may feel there is someone to lift us up if we just make the effort to connect with a stranger.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I think we would all be better if we placed our focus more on others instead of ourselves. Pay it forward!

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    2. I don't think Billy Ray ever lost his dignity, far from it. I'm so happy for him, I hope he is able to get on and stay on his feet in a warm home for the rest of his life. Kindness is all we have to give sometimes, it's vital to our survival and our humanity. Good job Doug!

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    3. Thank you, Onaspring. You're right. Billy Ray never lost his dignity. That's why he still does the right thing. I look forward to what happens through all of this.

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    4. Happy Sunday Doug!

      Forgive me if I am not replying to the correct section of these blogs. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing your experience. This is yet another reminder of how wonderful this whole situation is. You reminded me so much of myself when you decided to ask him to have dinner with you. This is sooo something I would do. My friends tell me I am crazy for what I do and that as a female should be careful. (Which is true at times) I just can't help it though. It's nice to know that there are other people out there just as crazy and loving as I am. I, too, have had several experiences of helping out people who, as I like to say, " happen to be homeless". I have been involved with a food truck, I have given food, I have given money, and I have even taken the time to try and stop and speak with a man while leaving PA from visiting family, while on my way back home to CT. The talk didn't go well, as he was not expecting this crazy smiling chick to pull over and roll up on him. Ha! So, the talk wasn't much of a conversation. I did most of the talking as he wouldn't really respond. I noticed cars staring at me while they drove by, I didn't care. So, I went to the nearest fast food place on the road, bought him some food, and thanked him for his time. Even though I didn't get much out of him, I thought perhaps he may have felt happy that someone actually took the time to try to know him and his situation, and showed some care. I admire what you did! I admire Billy Ray for what he did. I admire Sarah for what she did, and I admire Bill for what he has done. So many people have said thank you to Billy Ray for what he has done for the world, by reminding people that there are still good people out there. I say thank you to Sara, for without her wanting to give him some money this wouldn'thave happened. I say thank you to Billy Ray for being the honest and good hearted human being that he is, and thank you to his Grandfather for teaching him the right way. I say thank you to Bill and Sara for setting up this fundraiser. I say thank you to you for letting Billy Ray know he still has hope. I say thank you to Billy Ray for helping you find your way that night. And I say thank you so much to the world for they too are a reminder that there are great people out there in the world, just by their donations, love, hugs, and comments. I wish everyone the absolute best and look foward to more updates. It's kind of funny, as I often tell my family and friends the updates. I check how much the donations are, like a little kid at Christmas time. I am somehow addicted to this story and finding out the result. I've never been much of a reader, more into movies, but I must tell you, I read the story, comments, blogs, updates as if it was the best book in the world. Only this one has a real life happy ending. I wouldn't mind seeing it as a movie either...hint hint. The Absolute Best to Everyone!

      Lisa from Connecticut

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    5. Lisa, I'm glad to meet a person from CT who is just as crazy. Thank you for your comments and efforts to reach out to others. We haven't read the last chapter about Billy Ray!

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  2. Hey Doug, I posted this to all the awesome folks checking updates on the GiveForward page. It gets emailed to all donors and hug-givers too. Wanted to post here to make it official. Talk to you soon my man...

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    1. Thanks Bill. You've been a blessing to all of us by getting the ball rolling for BR. I've enjoyed talking to you. Let me know how you want to do updates in the future.

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    2. I found your blog and this lovely post from the update I received via email. What a heartwarming read this was and so touching. I had a similar experience last month on vacation with some girlfriends in San Francisco. On our last night, we planned to go out and have some drinks, eat some good food and just enjoy the city. We ended up spending a few hours with 4 homeless gentlemen in the park in our neighborhood and could not have asked for a better night. It was life-changing in many ways and your story reminds me of them. They asked nothing of us, nothing, except for our time and company. It meant the world that 3 "regular" (far from it! lol) women would share time and space with them but truly, we were the ones who felt honored.
      Thank you for sharing this and for what you are both doing for Mr. Billy Ray. I look forward to more updates.

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    3. Tamera, would you consider being a guest blogger here and tell more about your experience of that night?

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    4. Doug, sure! I'm no blogger but would not mind sharing at all. The three of us keep saying that it's hard to explain that experience in words but we think about and talk about them often (to each other).

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    5. Tamara, you'll do a great job if you just share it from your heart. Let me know when you have something ready. I'd love for you to post it here.

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  3. Great post, thanks for sharing!

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  4. Amazing story!! Love every update I get via email. God Bless!!

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  5. WOW this was very touching, I can't even explain how much of a positive change this is starting have in my life this very moment. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with Mr Billy, it just goes to show that what really matters is the inside of a person not the outside which most of us tend to focus on and judge. Thank you again Doug and as a fellow Texan I am very proud of your actions. If you're ever in the Dallas area, I will be honored to treat you to lunch. Please contact me through this platform.
    Blake

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    1. Hey Blake, be careful about what you promise! I live in Ft. Worth! :) I'd love to connect. I'm glad all these events are having a a positive impact on your life! Pay it forward!

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  6. God sometimes allows earthly angels to touch our lives to help us find our way through life. The story that Bill has posted just displayed how two earthly angels met and helped each other. It was no coincidence, but it was according to God's plan.

    Thank you, Bill, for now only sharing this story, but also being another earthly angel to help Billy Ray along his life's path. God bless you!

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  7. Beautiful! May God continue to bless you both!

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  8. I'm so loving Billy Ray God put the right people in your life at the right time. He may not come when you want him to. But God is always on time! Blessings to Billy Ray and his lovely friends! Its such a blessing for his to such great stories as these!

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    1. Kristen, you're now one of Billy Ray's lovely friends, too!

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  9. Before reading about Billy Ray, I will admit that viewed homeless people as lazy. My thoughts were, "they're homeless because they refuse to work". But now I realize, my heart is homeless and not because it's lazy, but because bad things have happened to it, just as bad things have happened to him. Love and true compassion often come from the most unlikely places. I think that is what makes this entire story so touching and heart-felt. I wish Billy Ray absolutely nothing but the best and thank you for sharing your story. It means more than you will ever fully know.

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    1. I agree I also looked at them as lazy or drug addicts\drunks.

      I now find myself looking at them and not being afraid to talk or help.

      My wife thinks I am getting taken advantage of. I remind her that there are 1000s and 1000s of Billy Rays out there

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    2. Indeed, tears seemed to stream down my face as well without me knowing exactly why. I was touched by the content, and also connected thank you for posting it

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    3. Josetta, I sense personal pain in your words, and I pray that your heart finds a home as mine did. That's a basic need we all have. Your heart may be bruised and battered, and you may desire to protect it with all the security you can summon. But our hearts will always be restless until they find that home, and I think that requires your giving it away. Not all people are good guardians of our hearts, but some are. Even when I try to run away from God, he's still the best guardian of all.

      Allen, I bet homeless people are as varied as any other "category" of people. Perhaps we could modify Martin Luther King Jr's words a bit: People should be judged not by the house they do or do not live in, but by the content of their character. I do believe that Billy Ray has wonderful character!

      Kafi, thanks for crying with many of us. May your tears bring joy and cleansing!

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  10. Thank you for sharing your touching personal journal entry. It not only provides further insight into the strong moral character of Mr. Billy Ray but also provides a realistic description of some of the heartbreaking challenges of being homeless. It is wonderful to know that a compassionate and generous person like you exists in a society where we are often too self-absorbed to notice or interact with less fortunate people who are equally deserving of respect.

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    1. Jacqueline, oh how I wish I were as good as you and my dogs think I am! But your point is so on target that we all need to be less self-absorbed and more compassionate. "Be kinder than necessary. Everyone we meet is fighting some kind of battle."

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  11. I think it's a rare thing in our modern world to find ANYONE that
    Really hears you. Sounds like you were both miracles for each other.
    What a gift and a true blessing for all of us. One person stepping out
    of the "box" can make a profound change for countless others.
    Doug, you stepped out of your "box" and Billy Ray did too.

    You're both reminders that the world is truly a wonderful place and it's
    only the mixed up stuff that we add to it that makes it appear other wise.
    Love to you both and thank you for sharing such a super and extra-ordinary
    experience.

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    1. Thank you for your insight and wisdom. Together, we CAN make this a world a better place!

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  12. Jesus Christ is in Billy Ray..he is homeless so people around him will find home..Billy Ray is exactly what God wants him to be and where Gods wants him to be..so he can touch lives..

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    1. Billy Ray DOES want to touch lives. He senses a great purpose that God has for him.

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  13. What a story Doug. What a transparent testimony! I know the feeling all to well l after being a caregiver for the last 14 years. May God continue to bless both you and Bill Ray.

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    1. Blessings on you, my caregiving friend. May you be strengthened and renewed for your very difficult, but rewarding role!

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  14. Hope you and Billy Ray are never lonely again. Thanks for providing him a cell phone and putting him on your plan.

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  15. I also gave to Billy Ray, I also in the past have been a part time unpaid voluntary warden in a hostel for homeless alcoholic men and I can assure you that the expression "there but for the grace of God go I" is a very true.

    BUT, I would like to point out that the US is the most unequal society in the developed world with a few having wealth beyond comprehension while the rest of us are facing a future of diminishing incomes and what is even worse, less opportunity for our offspring. The wealthy even now are trying to destroy more welfare programmes in the US and the UK where I live which provide salaries for a few people to be employed in trying to help the poor and the destitute with facilities, opportunity and guidance in applying for jobs and most importantly skills to counsel and encourage self worth.

    So, I would suggest it isn't God who we should be thanking for helping people like Billy Ray, as a quick look about in your neighbourhood will prove that he seems to have overlooked quite a few others, it is a fair and just society which should be providing for life's casualties, as well as volunteers to do the leg work. We need a society with opportunities for everyone to be valued whether they are decision makers controlling conglomerates or the man or woman cleaning the lavatories, and at this particular moment in history, which I appreciate is just a blink in time, the wealthy who were directly responsible for wrecking the world's economy by their reckless and selfish greed are still 'coining it in' while they bribe and corrupt even further our politicians to implement policies which will produce thousands more Billy Ray's.

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    1. Oiseau, please think about this, though it is merely my perception. The most important way God gets things done is through people. It's always about our choices, to help or not help, to share or not share. God does not create evil; we do. So the best way to make things right in this world is to put emphasis on developing our characters and virtues in ourselves--as individuals and as groups. Some of us like to laugh off religions, but actually, religions have been where our concepts of goodness, rightness, and wisdom are learned. At the moment, we have no other vibrant role models to teach us character and encourage us to reach deep into ourselves and find, then live from, our finest selves. It is our finest selves through which God works. All it takes is our focus, not just to 'learn about' truth but learn it so we can LIVE and BE truth.

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    2. Wow...great discussion. I love your insights, Rose!

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  16. I love the Butterfly Effect of this story. How many people have been deeply affected by it? Perspectives changed, hearts touched, new thoughts, ripples of compassion, fresh faith... Billy Ray, Doug and Bill the three butterlies.

    And I'm so grateful, Bill and Doug that you are kindly sharing this touching, on-going journey of Billy Rays with us all. I very much look forward to more updates.

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    1. Good wording! I as well, am grateful for them sharing and I am looking forward to more updates too:)

      The 3 Butterflies;;; cute

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    2. Three butterflies? Hmmm...Three Stooges? Three Amigos? I dunno. But I CAN tell you there are many more stories coming from this. Bill or I will share them soon! I really think Billy Ray needs a platform so that he can share them himself!

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    3. I have to start this by saying please ignore my writing as I am a horrible writer and sometimes my writings are hard to read, I will do my best to stay on subject and make it easy to read, if i fail at this please forgive me in advance. (this is in 2 sections)

      I like the butterflies idea, however, I have thought of you three as three doves. God has used doves many times to carry messages or to find information. The first thing I thought of when I first read about billy was this bible verse, and it is the reason I think of all of you as doves. (Genesis 8:8, KJV-"Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground.") God always puts people in your path to help, it is just that most times we do not open our eyes to see who is there. As a society we have become numb to our surroundings. If we would just slow down and really pay attention to our surroundings then we could really see the blessings god has for us, the people he puts in our path, even the opportunities he gives to us but we do not see.

      I have pondered on this story since it first broke in the news, I have prayed many times not only for the 3 of you but your families and for all of us who gave. Personally, I could not give much as we are close to loosing everything ourselves, I am disabled due to medical issues and my husband was injured in a car accident (7 fractured vertebrae) and he is no longer able to work. However, even in this we have not lost our faith and it was in my heart from god to give a specific amount so I gave. I truly believe in the end we will prevail as god never fails any of us. Anyways sorry for ranting there for a second, back to my point, I have prayed many times how I could help more and what would be a great path for Billy Ray. I think this man is an angel in the flesh. He opens himself to God so gods work can be done through him. I personally could see him an inspirational speaker. Can you imagine how many lives he could touch just from people hearing him speak. I am not even sure he would be willing to do this, but look at how he changed both of your lives, imagine if he were to speak to groups of people, just how much he could change every life he came in touch with. While he has every right to be bitter because of life he is not, he could show so many people that even if they have all the worldly things they can afford or even if they have nothing, in the end the most important things are not of this world but of how you feel. If you have a broken heart or spirit you are lost and unhappy. I personally believe he has learned the key to happiness and also has learned how to share that key, it is obvious from the stories he can teach others how to get on a path of healing and exactly what is important in life. We can have all the riches in this world and still feel lonely, afraid, sad, etc.. I know I would pay to hear him speak and I am sure many other people would also, just imagine how many lives he would touch, how many hearts he could open. Maybe this is something that he could not do, I know i could not doing it speaking in front of others terrifies me, but I think god has a plan for this man and know he can teach many of us how to open our hearts and be happy.

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    4. I pray God blesses not only billy ray but every last person who hears his story or helps another. Remember, every last person in this world deserves kindness and love. It does not matter what they have done in life in the end we are all Gods children and we all deserve love and have trials in life. It is how we react to these trials and how we treat others that shows our true selves.

      One last thing i have had a few people ask how can this happen to such a great man (meaning him being homeless), the only things that come to mind are first off, without suffering there would be no compassion, and second we have to remember sometimes God has to get us down and without any clear paths in order for us to listen. Just remember to always keep faith and know in the end, and in his time God is always there for all of us.

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    5. Wow, Denise! You have great insights here! I agree with you completely that Billy Ray could be an inspirational speaker. I asked him to speak to my class a week ago, and he did so willingly. He did a great job! Blessings on you. I know you're struggling, and I can see where your struggles have produced a beautiful heart!

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  17. I would like to just start off by saying I am a homeless man as well. I have met Billys at city Union Mission as well as other places to eat in town for homeless. most people have a major misconception of homeless people they tend to think we are bottom of the barrel trash but they don't realize you just had hardship I became homeless because of a divorce I lost everything my world is crumbling around me my world turned upside down 1 day a caring father of 4 and husband the next alone too proud to ask anyone for help just like Billy I was working man no record I told many jobs I was a manager for Denny's as well as a manager for Ponderosa and its even been to college I've been to Missouri Western for 2 years my major is criminal justice and my goal is to be a lawyer someday so you see just because were homeless does it mean were criminals or worthless people it is taking me 8 years but I'm finally starting to get on my feet I have found God is I am now a born again Christian city Union Mission help me get back on my spiritual track along with the guidelines of a very godly man my pastor Bob Thomas he seen potential in me where nobody else did even though I am still homeless I pray to God that he will provide me a suitable home in Kansas City close to where my children live I have 4 wonderful children they go to school ar winnitonka highschool they know daddy is trying his hardest. To get a place they could call home to I talk to my daughter today and she made me cry she told me daddy really proud of you because you're trying and I want you to know I will always love you but daddy's you need to set goals like I learned in school Wow smart words from a 10 year old girl. I I also have a website like Billy so if you would visit it and read my story and if you feel compelled please help me too at give forward.com god bless everybody my name is Johnny everyone on the streets and it City Mission no me by tiny

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    1. Johnny, thanks for sharing about your life and needs. Are you part of the Christian Life program there at the Union Mission? If so, how far along are you in the program? How many weeks do you have left?

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    2. Doug I did not go through clp but was on the special detail program at the over night shelter I have been in the mission since 2004 o am know by tiny there I am forever in debt to the mission it has really turned) my life around from chaplin charles , trennt dan doughty greg miller.they all have been a major influence on my life I have a give forward website and plan on giving a lot back to the mission

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  18. Doug - you have renewed my faith in mankind and Bill thank you for posting the link to this blog.

    God Bless you both

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  19. I can't describe how I'm feeling after reading this. I guess it just shows that, no matter how bad things seem to be, we always have something to offer to someone else in order to make their life a little brighter.

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    1. Oh Kay, that is EXACTLY the message! And who received the greater blessing? My heart is full!

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  20. Nothing short of amazing! I have tears in my eyes and chills all over my body after reading this. I agree with everything you said here. God Bless!!!

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  21. Everything Tiffany said, I was going to say. The man is amazing.

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    1. Everything I said to Tiffany, I say to you! :) Billy Ray IS amazing!

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  22. Doug,
    Thank you for sharing your story. It is so uplifting to know there are still good people in this world who truly want to help others. You have renewed my faith in the human race. We all need to extend a helping hand to those in need. I believe the Lord places people like Billy Ray in our path to open our eyes and give us the opportunity to make the right choice. God bless you both!

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    1. Thank you, Linda! Your words lifted ME up!

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  23. It makes you look at yourself in a different way.....even in England, I won't be ignoring homeless people

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    1. I'm amazed that the story has spread across the big pond and around the world. Pass the blessing along, Marcus.

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  24. simple reminders - stay humble, positive, and kind
    smiles can draw a multitude of together - let God always bind us together as well

    Thank you Doug - Thank you Billy

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  25. Thank you Billy, Bill and Doug for showing the world what life is really about. All of you were at different times in your life and look at how God has used you? This whole story has touched me and I will never be the same. This has made for great conversations with my teenage children and to see that God uses people to bless others, no matter how small it is. May God continue to bless you and those who have donated, gave hugs and/or sent a message from the heart.

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    1. Yes yes yes! Thank you to ALL who have become part of this story! Your teenage children are in good hands!

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  26. Good morning saints I hope. Everyone is blessed this morning just a little update i found a job not a lot of hours yet a job. If you visited my giveforward. Website thank you. Be blessed johnny gillock(tiny)

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    1. That's wonderful, Johnny! God be with you every step of your way.

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  27. WOW!! thank you Doug for such an inspiring story, you and Billy have restored my faith inhumanity. I believe Billy Ray has been sent by God to remind us that we are here for each other and not just for our own selfish gain.

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    1. I cannot begin to tell you how much Billy Ray has blessed me...and now all of us!

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  28. It simply amazes me how MAN can if he would, reach out to help another MAN putting aside their differnces in this world. I too, gave to Billy, not knowing him, not knowing if this was a scam or not. I only know, what I felt in my heart when first reading his story. My theory is, reach one to help one. This will always be a story of a man that looked beyond his own self and reached out to help Billy. God bless you sir, for your unselfish act of love to a homeless man.

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    1. And God bless YOU sir, for giving to a worthy individual. I assure you that your gift is well-placed.

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  29. I love these stories of inspiration! Amazing how people can just show up in your life and at the most unexpected time and how you can form loving unconditional friendships/relationships.

    I feel you are all Angels on Earth, God Sends and I feel that everyone that has read these stories been blessed and are touched by all this inspiration.... (Speaking for myself-It sure does lift me up.....gives a person Hope and Inspiration.....)

    Many thanks for Bill starting the donation page for Billie Ray and this journey for us all to share in, learn and grow from! You are a wonderful person! Thank you Billie Ray for your selflessness and holding onto the engagement ring and giving it back-you have great integrity and are an amazing person! Thank you Doug for allowing us to read and see your blog as well! Thank you for your acts of kindness and giving Billie Ray a phone and some stability with your friendship....Sounds like you both were blessed the night you met! Oh Billie Ray-your story has started a journey for us and I hope to keep reading how you all have inspired the world with this story.....

    I have been touched by peoples selflessness, unconditional acts/love, amazing life stories of these wonderful people with fabulous morals, values and integrity; as well as all of the peoples messages-so uplifting!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing:)..... God Bless You All! Many Blessing......

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    1. "This journey for us all to share in"....what a beautiful way to put it! Thank you, Michelle!

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  30. This is a beautiful story and TRUTH. I gave to Billy Ray through the foundation website because I felt I could help and I watched the money roll in. After I did I wondered, "Hey, does he want to have less? Does he want to be homeless? Are we intruding on his choice with our material presumptions? Who are we to assume he is unhappy, if he is? Isn't it a shame that returning a ring is an extraordinary event that touches people so deeply to open their wallets when they would have otherwise walked past Billy? What are people lacking that this event provided?" All these thoughts and more made their way into my consciousness. And I didn't have an answer. I just figured for some reason people wanted to continue to give to Billy because they were touched by the story. I love what you said here. I especially was moved by the notion that you were being allowed to be YOU. I have been thinking about that and talking openly about this for the last 6 months or so. I have really been seeing the unhappiness in America and I think people are so fragemented from one another because of judgment...I think we are locked up by many invisible boundaries of modern America and that keeps us from being OURSELVES. I commend you for your honesty. WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL and we ALL HAVE WONDERFUL GIFTS. WE DON'T have to KEEP UP with the Jones' to be successful. We just need to LOVE A LOT! :)

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    1. Wow...simply wow! I will want to read and re-read what you wrote, Alicia. You ask some incredible questions and raise some intriging questions.

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    2. So amazingly thought-provoking, Alicia...

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  31. Wow - this was an amazing story. When I first heard about Billy Ray and his story, I was moved and inspired. Then I heard about Bill and his desire to raise money for this wonderful man. And now you. Your story brought tears to my eyes and touched my heart in a way you will never know. It is so wonderful to see how people just pay it forward and forward and forward ... A simple act of kindness from one person and it snowballs. We need more people like you and Billy Ray and Bill in this world!

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    1. I would like to let everyone know I got a job yesterday not a lot of hours yet my cousin will let me stay with her for awhile. And my kids told me if I got a home close to there mom they would stay often god bless everyone thanks for visiting my giveforward site too im being imspired now to help get others out of there homeless state johnny gillock

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    2. Harriet, I'm glad you were as moved as I was! I love these kind of snowballs!

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  32. God Bless You for your humanity!

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  33. I'll pledge 10 percent of every dollar that comes in to my church first. Secound 10% to the mission in kansas city that has helped many homeless men like me and billy.Third 30% to help others that are homeless. My son ang daughter just told me they are proud of me, sorry I just wanted to share that I think for myself I will go back to school and get my law degree as well as a permanent home and become someone my kids would look up to I also can't forget God's Word and work the Lord wants me to do god bless everybody . Thank you to everyone who is raise money for me until the next post Johnny

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    1. Johnny, your children will look up to you because of what's inside you. They love you no matter what. Believe it or not, you're their hero!

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    2. Doug I know I know the children look up to Me they just seen how hard I have been trying so that I've always been there hero .talking to them on the phone is not the same as visitation with them. Under my own roof or the ability to take them out on a f amily night in my own car. The money raised. Will go a longway. I really want to return the the favor I have been given to another homeless family

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  34. Hi Doug,

    Thanks for sharing this story. I'm going to start following your blog. You are quite a good writer and should be doing it more often. I loved the sunset story!

    Thanks again,

    Susan

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    1. Thank you, Susan. I appreciate your feedback.

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  35. Everyone be blessed and if you visited my giveforward.com site. Thank you being homeless has been the worst and best of times. If I dont ever raise anouther dollar im blessed my 10 year old girl. Told me daddy im proud of you.I sure love her hearing her voice is priceless .mikayla if you read this I promise by August I will have some sort of home and promise not to miss any more of your hugs love daddy that is why I am blessed little girl you always have love daddy I miss you I sure hope you end up reading this post

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  36. Hey Doug the whole world is cheeering you on and praying for the wonderful human being you are. I'm so inspired to read your blog. I’ve always been someone who loves to help. I help from a distance because I’m very shy. I give to charities spanning all the continents but now I want to look closer home because of your inspirational story. I’ve given to local charities (in Nashville) but I want to make a more personal connection with someone like Billy. I’m very approachable and people warm up to me very easily (strange because I am an African woman from East Africa, right here in Nashville). I have acquaintances from all walks of life, especially people who are down on their luck, and I give all I can materially, whenever I get the chance. Now I will try and give of my time and form personal bonds. Thanks very much for inspiring me. You are such a wonderful human being, I feel better for knowing you!

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    1. Dear friend, you do so much more than I, and I admire you greatly! I love your heart and desire to help others. I'm glad we can inspire and encourage each other.

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    2. Thanks for replying Doug. A small seed grows into an oak tree, this is what we are seeing in Billys life. I hope he finds a good financial planner. Not everyone is equipped to handle sudden wealth, and it can be oveerwhelming. My prayer is that he finds good people like you who are willing to help him and guide him to make sound financial decisions. The first thing would be to set him up with a rental, just a simple place, with some basic furniture. Then he can pay a years worth of rent. He can then buy a reasonable used car, so he can be able to become gainfully employed. I would probably set up a mutual fund (no load), with a great company like TIAA-CREF. I would put in about $100,000.00. The rest would be put in a savings account where he can withdraw a certain amount for his living expenses every month. I'm a layman, just offering my advice, I'm no financial planner, but I've aquired wealth over the years by following a few simple tips. Also tell him to read any of Dave Ramseys financial advice books he can get his hands on. These books saved me financially. I hope this is the begenning of financial independence for him. Thaks for helping him and may God bless you and meet all your needs daily.

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    3. You and I think a lot alike when it comes to financial planning. I've made some suggestions to Billy Ray, but he will make his own decisions. I, along with you and others, hope they are sound decisions.

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  37. Doug, this is truly an amazing story. Throughout the past year, I have became extremely close friends with a lady by the name of Robin Harris Williams, who after 16 years of searching for Billy Ray, finally reconnected with him. Sarah and Bill have no idea the impact they have had in the lives of Billy Ray and Robin. I was with her when she spoke with him over the phone for the first time in 16 years.. And talk about emotions! I truly admire you for what you did for him when you met. I'm grateful to have been a part of them reconnecting. This story is more and more amazing as each day passes. God works in mysterious ways and what is meant to be always happens. Kudos again Doug!

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    1. Oh my, we need to connect! If Robin is the sister in Arlington, we're very close to each other. Look me up on Facebook if you have an account. If not, I'll give you my email address.

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  38. This was such a great inspiring story. My own daughter has been going through some difficult time lately because of her health conditions and although I am doing all that I can to help her sometimes it seems like I am the only one who is trying or willing to help. My daughter says to me quite often that I don't understand that she is all alone. I think to myself no she isn't she has me, other family and some friends but until recently when I started to try and fundraise for her on Give Forward and no-one else beside me that actually knows her would help while other people who are complete strangers to us have reached out and have helped with what they could. My point is I started to kinda get what she was saying when all of this happend but still had difficulty with her saying she's all alone until I happend upon this blog tonight and read what you had to say about being alone and about Billy Ray being your God Send. Thanks to you and your blog I see what she has been telling me all along from a different perspective, I see how she feels all alone because in her own way she is. My daughter has nothing at all financially she is on the verge of being homeless herself yet even though she can't help others financially every time I speak with her she tells me about how she is helping someone new that is in need in someway or another. She says that its not what a person gives from their pockets that make a difference its what they give from their hearts. I'd like to thank you for this blog as it has helped to remind me that I should stop worrying about what my baby girl doesn't have and what she needs and start focusing on everything that she does have and gives to others. Thank You once again

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    1. Lloyd, I've started to respond to your post many times and stopped. It's filled with so many emotions that I don't have the words for you yet. Loneliness is difficult for others to understand, and I'm delighted that you have a new perspective of your daughter. Love her! Encourage her! I know you already do. You have a good heart!

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  39. What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing.

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  40. I'm sitting here all by myself (it's late) and smiling like an idiot. I so love positive stories. Thank you Doug, Bill, Sarah, and Billy Ray!

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    1. Optymyst...I love fellow idiots! You made me smile, too!

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  41. Would anyone be willing to help me with my giveforward site

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  42. I would love to share my story with anyone that wants to hear it. Update on my situation tommarow

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    1. Johnny, feel free to open a blog site where you can tell your story. You can put a link to it here.

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  43. Please help I really need to raise money I just missed my sons 17 th birthday.

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    1. I just found Johnny's give forward site if anyone is interested. The link is http://www.giveforward.com/fundraiser/2p02/helpmewithmypathgodhassetformetofollow

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  44. Doug, thank you so much for sharing. I'm crying happy tears. I know I was lead to this page to receive your message. May God continue to bless you and Billy.

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    1. Thank you for reading and understanding the message. (Love your nickname!)

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  45. I know this is an amazing story and I amso happy to know that Billy is being so blessed by so many wonderful people. At the same time though I am wondering how I and many more could get media coverage for a honest family member that is battling with cancer and struggling to stay alive. Because the news about Billy is what helped him out and of course having a fundraiser. My daughter Jaclyn is fighting cancer and has been donated 50 dollars in which was donated by her dad. It's just so sad that so many honest people suffer and don't get any help. Good Luck to Billy and everyone..God is Great!!

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    1. Lynda, there are so many things I don't understand. This world if filled with joy, but it is also filled with pain and suffering like your family is experiencing with Jaclyn. Cancer is an ugly, unwelcomed guest, and my heart goes out to you. She sounds like a hero with the way she is battling. I don't know why some heroic stories make the news while others don't. I do believe, with you, that God is great, and that each of us is at the center of a very special story God is working on. I pray that you will experience his compassion and love while you live through that story.

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    2. Thanks for your prayers Doug, that is the one thing that I know of that we can't get to much of. God Bless! Lynda

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  46. Is there a way to private msg you? My blog is:www.iiammoon.blogspot.com. I want to write a blog on this but wanted to ask you something privately. Thank you. Jacquelyn

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    1. Jacquelyn, feel free to email me at doug@thejourney4life.org. I look forward to hearing from you.

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    2. Jacquelyn, if you ever emailed me, I must have lost it in spam. Try again if you'd like.

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  47. Second post-I read somewhere that having a friend will keep you from taking meds as you age. I'm attempting to build my social circle after being isolated as a caregiver for the last 14 years; it can be difficult, but worth it.

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    1. Short, making the effort is definitely a good investment!

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  48. I am truly grateful that I stumbled upon your blog, Mr. Riggs. I can't tell you how much it has inspired me and given me HOPE. I've read EVERYthing, so enthralled am I by your blog, Billy Ray's story and the other young people who have helped him. You know, life is amazing in that you never know when or where you'll learn a vital lesson. Prior to reading this blog, I was severely depressed. Here's the lesson: homeless people frightened me, although I have never passed up an outstretched hand with a cup in it. If they say 'thank you', I'll say 'you're very welcome'. But I just never look them in the face... Just never dignify their existence by holding a conversation. For many years, my perception was that, for the most part, homeless people WANT to be homeless. Many of them have violent criminal histories (but what about homeless children?!)... They're drug addicts, or winos, or uneducated, or shiftless and lazy, or mentally ill (but what about homeless children?!)... Surely, if they REALLY wanted to get off the streets there are gov't. programs available (but what about homeless CHILDREN?!)... I could never reconcile with the fact that parents could ALLOW themselves to become homeless and subject their children to every ungodly evil. As a result, I have given to charities for children and widows for many, many years.

    However, in the past 3 years, it has occurred to me that SOMEtimes people become homeless through no fault of their own. I'm in my late 50s and in a few days, I will be losing my home of nearly 18 years because the BIG BANK that holds my mortgage WANTS it. I worked in corporate America for 41 years... I'm educated and an author... Was laid off from my job in 2010... Couldn't find another job... Became physically ill and clinically depressed and ended up in the hospital... Now I CAN'T go back to work because I have been determined 'disabled'...

    I guess I won't be frightened of homeless people anymore. Mr. Riggs, will you come and find me, so that we can have lunch sometime?

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    1. Deborah, my heart goes out to you. Your circumstances are difficult, and I know there is no easy solution. However, you are not alone. I would definitely have lunch with you. What area do you live in? I travel quite a bit, and you never know when our paths might cross.

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    2. your story just broke my heart. it is so sad that the banks can just take your house. you would think they would work with you to try to keep you in your home. but we both know that the rich wouldn't get richer if they did that. can we all say GREED. that is what its all about. GREED. good luck to you and i hope someone can help you find a new home.

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  49. ~paying it forward! I was introduce to the movie, by a friend - who always inspired kindness and generosity. I was excited then and I am still excited now about ~paying it forward~ a smile, a gift of kindness, sometimes small, sometimes more ~ it all sharing and we all gain so much for each other. Being polite does not cost anyting, and it spreads kindness and keeps the smiles going ~ Thank you for sharing your smile ~

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    1. Sandra, Billy Ray got a wonderful opportunity to see how "paying it forward" came back full circle to him. He witnessed a good deed done to another person...all because of his story about the ring. I need to blog about that. Keep paying it forward. People like you change the world!

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  50. Doug,

    I do not know you, but what I sense from you is that you are truly one of God's beautiful souls, selfless and caring. Compassion is such a rarity now-a-days. I found your blog through Billy Ray's Give Forward page and both you and Mr. Krejnik(hope I spelled that right) are special angels. After reading about Billy Ray, I too started a Give Forward page for a single mom who needs a car b/c she has a 5 yr old and she walks to the bus rain/sleet/snow b/c she's not trying to live on the system or even burden ppl with asking for a ride to her temporary job, but I remember that same situation applied to me about 12yrs earlier. Nevertheless, I think it's God's divine plan to love our neighbor FOR REAL, to seek their advancement along with our own. To remember where we came from and take another brother or sister out of their cave on our way to where we're going.

    Surely, Jesus saw a reflection of himself when Doug met Billy. Giving hearts, truly recognize a giving heart. God Bless You

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    1. Theresa, thank you so much for your comments. I love that you're trying to help someone else. Where does she live? If you want to publish the link here, perhaps someone would be interested in contributing.

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  51. Thank you for sharing. Most of us are broken inside but we never realised. It takes a lot of humility and courage to acknowledge that. Billy is an angel in disguise sent from God.

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    1. Cook, it amazes me how broken we all are! And yet broken people often make the most difference in the world! Thank you for taking the time to read and respond.

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  52. Hebrews 13:2.
    Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

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    1. Deepuett...I became VERY aware of that verse after the fact! This is a real live example!

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  53. Mr. Riggs,
    This is the first time I ever responding on a blog. I find it interesting that purpose springs up and overtakes anyone who embraces it. One would have with certainty said before these eventful days that, “at no time does homelessness suit purpose… at no time does it wear the same garments… at no time does the size fit, and how in the world could loneliness?” We go along living or shall I say existing following along with the rules until something causes us to change. For you Mr. Riggs, loneliness caused you to go beyond the color rule, the socio-economic rule, as well as the rule of pride all so you could meet a man who in return, do the same. I commend both of you for pushing through the pain and circumstances and finding the purpose each of you were intended for in this hour. You shared a meal and he returned a ring. These choices, just like many others before, have changed your lives forever for the good and prayerfully not the bad. Thank you for sharing it because your stories are changing many of our lives as well. We cannot help but reflect on how we can improve our acts of kindness, compassion, and even our love. We cannot help but gauge whether we have preconceived judgments and biases buried within our hearts. As we come to understand that no one is perfect we must also acknowledge that we can do better with what we have no matter how great or small. I leave your story a bit more inspired than I arrived as my hope and faith confirms that no matter what place we find ourselves in life, purpose will seize us when we least expect it.
    Leila Gordon

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    1. Leila, you're a terrific writer! I hope you're writing regularly. I'm so glad you found inspiration and left with greater hope and faith. I'm so privileged to meet people like you through this story!

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    2. Thank you Mr. Doug for your kind words. It really touched me as I read your response because dyslexia has its disadvantages at times. I have only written when necessary for the most part. Your post really inspired me to use this outlet to honor my grandson's life. I submitted my first blog the night I read yours. I was serious when I said, you are changing people's lives... even if it is one person at a time.

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    3. Leila, your comments have even more meaning now that I know some of your back story. I'd love to read about your grandson. What's your blog site?

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  54. i am so happy that Billy Ray is doing so good. it is so good to know that there are decent people in the world.
    in regards to the homeless people i know that there are some (not many) who are drug addicts or alcoholics) and a lot of the homeless have mental health issues with no place to get help. there is a guy in my town that i always see walking with a carriage full of empty plastic bags and he is always talking to him self. so sometimes when i would come out of the grocery store i'd see him sitting on the sidewalk way down the other end of the store/plaza. so i told my husband next time i see him there i am going to buy him something to eat. so about a week later i come out of the same store and there he is. so i put my groceries in my trunk and went back into the store and bought one of the store cooked whole chickens, and then i went to the hot salad bar and picked up some side dishes and i bought plastic forks and knifes and a package of paper plates and some napkins along with to bottles of water. so i go back outside and drive over to where he is sitting and i park and for some reason i get nervous but i say just get your butt out there and give it to him. so i walk up to him and i squat down and said here this is for you. he started talking in some kind of language that only he could understand and was almost besides himself in panic. he was shaking his head no and trying to press himself into the brick wall he was sitting in front of. he wouldn't even touch it and didn't want it. i felt so bad so i took the stuff and left. i mean he was a such a panic. i was telling my sister in law about it a few days later and she knows who i was talking about (she works at the homeless shelter) and said that he has a thing about touching anything because of germs. which tells me he indeed has serious mental health problems because his hair looks like it hasn't been washed in years and because he's homeless he's dirty. he never ever ask for money or pan handles. i am not sure were he gets food from and according to my sister in law he only goes to the shelter during the winter but only to sleep and then he gets up and takes off for the day. comes spring and they don't see him again until late fall. i think its a shame that there is no place for this guy to stay and have the medical help he clearly needs.
    i was in San Diego California last November and i was over whelmed by all the homeless people there. i just couldn't believe how many there were. and i know most of them do not choose to be that way but that is how they have to live because there is no help for these people (okay there is some help but clearly not enough). its makes me so grateful for what i have in my life. i may not have a lot of money but at least i have a home and a bed. and yes when i left San Diego i was broke because i kept giving money to the homeless but i felt better for it.
    and thank you Doug for sharing your wonderful story. but i would like to ask you one question. and you of course don't have to answer me. why where you so lonely?
    Thanks Linda

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    1. Hilda, my loneliness at the time was much of my own making. I've made some choices in life that I'm not proud of. I'm simply thankful that God hasn't written the final chapter of my life yet. I look at others with that same hope as well now.

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  55. Doug, thank you for sharing your beautiful story with us. Homeless people have a lot to offer if given the chance. I was homeless for two years, on drugs and really messed up. I was treated poorly quite often, which just made me feel even worse about myself. I used to go and eat at a soup kitchen in my city in Oregon. The kindness of a few ladies at the kitchen made me begin to feel better about myself and that I was somebody and not just trash that nobody wanted.

    Through their love and encouragement I entered into another treatment program (once again), but this would be my last program. I stayed in the program 18 months. During this time, I asked if I could volunteer at this kitchen (Zarephath Kitchen) to give back to those who gave me so much. I have been volunteering there now for almost 7 years, been clean and sober 7 1/2 years (Aug 28, 2005 is my clean day) and gone back to school. I have earned 2 Associate degrees (2009), graduated with my Bachelor in Criminology and Criminal Justice last June and am now working on my Masters in Criminology and Criminal Justice at Portland State University.I have earned respect from my family and community.

    I truly believe that God removed my addiction, but I truly owe those ladies for saving my life. I often wonder what things would be like for me had I never entered the doors of Zarephath Kitchen that summer. I have made some wonderful friends, homeless and volunteers and know I will forever be connected to that place and all those people. That was a kind and wonderful thing you did for Billy Ray that night and continue to do. I am so glad that Billy gave to you also that evening. You find friends, love, and kindness in places you would never imagine. Please always continue sharing your story. It is such a blessing.

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    1. Carolyn, I'm so delighted that you represent a success story! We always stand on the shoulders of others as well as the responsibility we take for our own actions. Keep sharing YOUR story as well! You have blessed us through it!

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    2. Thank you. It is my pleasure to share my story. Take care.

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  56. Hello all I'm back Doug I started the blog and will work on it as I can,I seen my brother for the first time in 20 years yesterday . At least for the.moment im off the streets of Kansas city. My cousin is letting me stay at her place until first week of July and then I will be back in KC . With gods help I have made it 30 day at a new job . Not to many hours yet though. I
    can't figure out how to make a.link to my blog or giveforward site johnny

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    1. Johnny, I'm glad you're making some progress. Keep up the good work! You can post a link simply by copying the web address at the top of your browser. Once you copy it, paste the link here.

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  57. Good evening Doug,

    Thank you for responding again. I attempted to comment above but was unsuccessful. The title of the Blog is "Lessons from a Grandson" and this is the link http://xavier04.blogspot.com/
    I have three lessons complete. I'm not sure where it's going to take me. My mom called me today stating she read them and suggested that I make it into a book. Now how in the world do I do that? I just completed my first blog last week.
    Leila Gordon.

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    1. Leila, I just read your first 3 lessons from your blog. Great job! I can see the depth of your character through your words. You teach the lesson well that you can't always choose your circumstances in life, but you can always choose your response! I look forward to reading more!

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    2. Thank you sir for taking the time not only to have an interest but to read the blog and respond. Lesson four coming soon.

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  58. Doug,
    I look at this picture and see two angels on Earth. You are a blessed soul; teachers should read your blog to the young students to help them understand that goodness does exist in this sometimes very cruel world...I light candles at church for those that inspire me. I am adding you to that list. I don't know you but I will never forget you. Your mama raised you right! May God continue to bless you and our beloved Billy Ray. With gratitude for being a kind human being, Lisa Palumbo

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    1. Lisa, you were very kind in your comment. My mother was a very special lady who did indeed raise us right. She passed away not long after I met Billy Ray. I hope you have to light many candles due to the people who inspire you!

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  59. Doug I really need help .im trying hard to drive traffic to my site.im reaching out to the world here for help.I believe going out to california is gods will , as I seen my mother who is 81 and my sister and brother. It has been over 15years since I saw them last. .im staying. At my cousins till july 5th then. Back to kc where at this point the mission or streets is my only option . My ex wife is going to let the kids come out to cali and visit for. The first time in years . Doug im a christian man and do my level best to more fore others than myself on s daily basis. Im not looking for a windfall from my giveforward account .but I promise I will make others. Life better as well asone woth the money

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  60. Dear Christian Millionaires,

    I have asked that question to myself on yesterday. I started a blog and I did so without doing any research first. I really don't have a clue to what I am doing. I decided to do a bit of research last night and this is an article that I found. It is about blogging but I think the advice is good for a web site as well. http://www.copyblogger.com/build-creative-habits/
    I hope it helps or at least leads you in a direction that you need. It's going to take time but you should do fine. Blessing to you and your endeavors sir.

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  61. Christian Millionaires,
    Sorry that was another article here are two additional ones that I also had.

    http://www.2createawebsite.com/
    http://www.copyblogger.com/no-money-blogging/

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  62. Hi Doug is Billy ok? Why did the fundraiser end early?

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  63. Hi Lynda. Billy Ray is doing well. I spoke to him just a few days ago. I don't know why the fundraiser ended early. I haven't talked to Bill about it.

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  64. Dear Mr. Riggs,
    I apologize for this sudden message. I work for a Japanese Tv program called "Unbelievable." Our TV directors was deeply touched by his stories and would like to feature him in our TV show. I'm trying to contact Mr. Billy Ray to ask if he would be willing to do an interview with us for our TV show in Japan. I'm sorry to intrude on your blog. I didn't know any other way to get in touch with him. Is there any way you can give me his contact information, or ask him if he would be interested in this project for us?
    Please email me at mosa@broadwaycaprice.com
    Please feel free to delete this post if you think it is inappropriate. Thank you for sharing your story.
    Sincerely,
    BroadwayCaprice


    ************************************
    Broadway Caprice Corp.
    1650 Broadway, Suite 1118
    New York, NY 10019
    TEL: 212-581-1010
    FAX: 212-581-3277
    mosa@broadwaycaprice.com
    http://www.broadwaycaprice.com
    *************************************

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  65. Great story, thanks for it! :)

    Greetings from Austria!
    Werner

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  66. Thanks Werner. You have a beautiful country! I'm glad the story made it there.

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  67. I just LOVE this whole story!!! Billy Ray reminds me so much of my father, who was rendered homeless in 2001 and died a couple years later. I feel blessed to have been able to read and learn about him! It reminds me of my father and brings back good memories...The ones you tend to forget when you are too busy being sad. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experiences with the world!!! These are stories that create the world I dream of for my children! And, yes God does bring us to certain people at just the right time for reasons we don't realize until they are over!

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