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Great-grandma reaps the rewards of welcoming strangers into her home

CBS News | Facebook | Fair Use

Her act of kindness shows the importance of taking a leap of faith, and saying yes.

When Joy Ringhofer from Phoenix opened her home to a new dad from Cleveland and his 4-day-old baby, she took a leap of faith. She felt a strong call to help the young father, Rubin Swift, come to grips with caring for newborn baby.

As reported in a video posted by CBS News, Swift had traveled to the other side of the country to collect his newborn daughter, Ru-Andria, after being granted custody. He flew straight to Phoenix with the hope of quickly returning home with his beautiful little bundle. The hiccup came when he learned that an airline policy prevented Swift from traveling without a birth certificate for Ru-Andria, which would take a few days to deliver.

Fortunately, the stranded dad came across Ringhofer, a 78-year-old great-grandmother who volunteers at the Banner University Medical Center where Ru-Andria was born. She gladly welcomed the father and daughter into her home, saying she’d had “such a strong feeling” that this was the right thing to do. The gesture completely surprised Swift who pointed out, “We’re two different colors and she opened up her door and it was never an issue.”

Over the few days, Ringhofer held, cared for, and loved the tiny baby. The trio even went to the cemetery to visit the grave of Ringhofer’s husband, who had recently died of Parkinson’s disease. And as Swift left to go back to Cleveland, he made a promise to return to the woman who has become family, a stranger who has now become like a grandmother and gained a granddaughter.

The whole experience has shown Swift “that in this crazy world there is still compassion,” as he shared in an interview with People. Now the dad wants to spread this compassion by encouraging others to help those in need. “Let’s return to a time when we all cared about one another. That’s what I’m hoping will happen,” he said.

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