A baby appropriately named Hope is spreading a message of just that. And she captivated the nation as the subject of a simple photo shoot in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.
At just 10 days old, Hope Chimeno, her parents and two siblings boarded a rescue boat to escape the storm in their hometown of Orange, Texas. Immediately following their rescue by Cris and Clint Sanford, the Chimeno family had an unexpected request. Katy Sanford, Cris’ wife, asked the Chimeno family if they had taken newborn photos yet. Katy then connected the family with her friend, photographer Noelle Mills.
“She texted me and asked if I would be willing to take pictures of the family,” Mills told TODAY. “I had to ask myself, ‘What’s most important right now? To give to this family who could have lost so much.’ I don’t have a lot of time or money, but what I can give is my photography.”
Post Hurricane Harvey pictures go viral
On Labor Day, the family headed back to the same rescue boat. They completed the scene with life vests for props for the photo shoot. The results, which are quickly going viral on Facebook, are as inspiring as the are adorable.
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Complete with a onesie that says, “I survived Hurricane Harvey,” baby Hope is now a symbol of triumph during the difficult time.
“We thought it would be fitting to do some of her newborn photos in that boat,” Mills told Love What Matters. “It was my absolute honor to document these for her family.”
Following their rescue, the family traveled by boat to Louisiana. Once they arrived there a woman Named Melissa Viator took the family in. Vialtor didn’t want the family staying at a shelter with two young children and a newborn. So, everyone stayed at Viator’s house until they could safely return home.
“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,” Hope’s mom, Emily Chimeno told the Beaumont Enterprise. “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.”
It is indeed a great reminder for all of us!