KINGWOOD, Texas – After four days of being cooped up inside as Hurricane Harvey flooded Southeast Texas, Clarice Brito-Salcido saw her children grow restless, cabin fever taking full effect.
She grabbed her camera as her son and daughter put on their rain boots and ran outside to play with other kids in their Kingwood neighborhood. She didn’t plan to take a photo that would capture the hearts of thousands of flood-weary Houstonians.
Her 6-year-old son, Giovanni, grabbed an American flag from the garage and ran down the wet streets with a smile, his rain-soaked friend Garreth running beside, and the flag blowing behind. It’s a now-viral photo that’s inspired thousands who have been affected by flooding from Harvey—a sign of happiness when times are seemingly at their worst.
Brito-Salcido, a teacher at Atascocita High School who also owns Cici Loo Photography, said she didn’t know what she captured until she loaded the pictures on her computer.
“This shot made me cry, it touched my heart,” she said. “To me, it felt like how we feel as a city: We’re going to come out of this stronger and rebuild.”
Photos: These kids playing in the Hurricane Harvey rains will warm your heart
Harvey hit the Texas coast Aug. 25 and stalled, dumping one trillion gallons of water across Harris County, according to the Harris County Flood Control District.
She's now using the photo as a way to raise money to help students and teachers from Kingwood High School recover after the school succumbed to heavy flooding and will be closed for the school year. You can click here to doante. She’s given an apparel company permission to design shirts with her photo, proceeds of which will be donated to victims.
Days later, Brito-Salcido captured another touching moment when her son, dressed as a firefighter, delivered breakfast to two Houston police officers. The officers were monitoring floodwaters outside her neighborhood near the swollen San Jacinto River. Giovanni noticed they looked tired, so he brought them bacon-and-egg breakfast tacos.
It's another heartwarming moment among the heartache Harvey spread across Southeast Texas.
“Positivity makes for better life experiences,” she said. “Keep on keeping on, Houston.”