Mom Kimberly B. Phillips and her adorable eight-year-old daughter Neveah had stopped by their church in Columbia, South Carolina. Church members had dedicated themselves to feeding residents of the Allen Benedict Court apartments in their time of need.
While observing this beautiful act of kindness and compassion between the congregation and those who are struggling, Phillips and Neveah had a chance encounter with Tyion, a homeless man. Neveah is non-verbal Down syndrome, but felt a huge draw to Tyion.
Phillips explained to WIS-TV that Neveah intuitively knows when people need her. Everyone who interacts with her little girl always has a huge smile on their face afterward.
Having been around Neveah and watching this gift unfold has led Phillips to fully believe in the mantra “let your act be your impacts.” She explained that even though Neveah does not speak, her “actions speak louder than words,” which is clearly evident in the video footage Phillips captured.
“Even around Christmas, she dresses as an elf and passes out candy to people in the community. People are just in awe of her personality.”
While at the church, Neveah heard Tyion singing beautifully. It stirred Neveah’s soul.
The little girl wandered over to Tyion who scooped her up and held her in his arms. Then, he began to sing with an incredible voice.
But even more shocking was that non-verbal Neveah began singing along with Tyion! Granted, she wasn’t forming words, but she sang right along with him in her own special way.
Phillips couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She whipped out her phone and began recording the beautiful moment between two strangers, one who cannot speak and one who doesn’t have a home, but both who are children of God.
“Love made her do it. “She just knows how to draw a crowd – she just has a gift. I am just glad everyone has seen it and it’s gone viral – I just wanted to inspire.”
Phillips had no idea that the video she shared on her Facebook page would go viral so quickly. So far it has more than two million views.
She decided to hunt down Tyion and tell him how much of an impact his kindness toward Neveah meant to her and how complete strangers couldn’t believe their encounter. Tyion was shocked.
“…he read the comments with a big smile on his face :)!!! You all have given him so much hope today!!!! He leaned down to Neveah and said…look what we did.”
To celebrate, Tyion found a water bottle and a flavor packet for his biggest little fan. One of the other men nearby gave her a KitKat bar.
“I can’t tell you how full our hearts are!!!! His smile said it all:)!!! And each time he passed me he said ‘a million views???’ He has been in shock: )!”
Phillips said she wanted everyone to see how incredible children with Down syndrome are like and to draw attention to the plight of homelessness.
“You will be blessed beyond measure because they know and they want to bring you joy. They are leading by example – and that’s how we should all be loving others.”
Just as incredible is that numerous people have reached out to Phillips to see how they can help Tyion and get his feet planted firmly on the ground. She’s also hoping to help him herself, too.
Neveah’s duet with Tyion and her reaction to his singing definitely will tug at your heartstrings!