In the wake of Hurricane Harvey's devastation in Texas, Americans across the country experienced a profound sense of helplessness and loss. Amid all the footage of wrecked homes and displaced families, however, something beautiful emerged — photos of an infant Hurricane Harvey survivor named Hope Chimeno, who was just 10 days old when the Category 4 storm hit. Not only will the adorable photos of Hope (could she have a more appropriate name?) melt your heart, but they'll also restore your faith in the goodness of people during trying times.
According to Business Insider, Hope and her parents, Emily and Levi Chimeno, were rescued from Beaumont, Texas, during the height of the storm. The Chimenos were then transported to a shelter in Lake Charles, Louisiana, via a boat driven by two brothers in the Cajun Army, Cris and Clint Sanford, according toToday. The Cajun Army is an informal volunteer group that helped countless Hurricane Harvey survivors, according to the Los Angeles Times.
In a wonderful twist of fate during a group lunch following the rescue, Cris' wife, Katy Sanford, asked Hope's parents if they had done a newborn shoot yet. When Emily replied that there were little photos of Hope, Sanford decided to enlist the help of her photographer friend, Noelle Mills, according to the Beaumont Enterprise. Given the Chimeno's unfortunate predicament, Mills decided to to stage a photoshoot on Cris and Clint's rescue boat for free.
Mills said of helping out the Chimenos, according to HuffPost:
I am in probably the busiest season of my life. I am a wife, mother, I work a public relations job, and do photography on the side. I also just started college at 32. My whole point in saying that is that you are never too busy to stop what you’re doing and help someone out.
As expected, the photos of Hope peacefully resting on a life preserver are too sweet for words. The best part? Hope was gifted with a onesie with "I Survived Hurricane Harvey" embroidered on the back.
Emily said of the love her family has received following Harvey, according to the Beaumont Enterprise:
We were blessed again and again by the people of Louisiana, and Hope is our little hero because people have extra compassion when a tiny baby is involved. I believe Hope's story, including all of the amazing Louisiana folks along the way, is a great reminder that it's the people that matter in life, not the stuff.
Hope's story is just one example of the many acts of generosity that have taken place amid the destruction of Hurricane Harvey. Although these photos are ridiculously cute and heartwarming, they represent something much more important — kindness.