Today was a good day.
Yes, the wind picked up and the rain came down something fierce as South Florida started feeling the effects of Tropical Storm Isaac, but today was the day Red Crossers met PJ Herring, one of the 26 people seeking shelter from the storm at a Red Cross evacuation center in Miami-Dade County.
The shelter, at Dr. Michael Krop Senior High, was one of six that were opened to give people living in coastal evacuation areas or mobile homes a safe place to stay as Isaac skirted the Florida Keys.
At just three years old, PJ was already the center of attention in a corner of the shelter where a group of 7- and 8-year-olds were trying to keep themselves entertained.
And when three other Red Crossers and me showed up with cameras, well, PJ found a way to help us all have fun.
PJ was instantly curious about the camera that hung from strap around my shoulder, and in no time, he was snapping away taking shots of the mural that adorned one of the walls inside the school, of the other children who were playing near us and of Patricia Rojas, one of the Red Crossers who toured the shelter with us.
“I got you,” he would shout when he snapped a picture of anyone nearby. “I got you!”
It was a touching moment that I’ll always treasure. That reminds me why I love my job and the work I do for the American Red Cross. And I hope that all of us, soon, can go back home not at all the worse for wear.
-Chrystian Tejedor works in the Field Marketing Department at the American Red Cross and is a volunteer spokesman based in South Florida.