Theirs is a sisterhood of disaster, the victims of two hurricanes who have helped others even as they struggled to recover.
"It hits you, it hits you between the eyes," said Connie Uddo of the St. Paul's Homecoming Center. "How tough is it for you to watch her going through what you went through? It's very hard. I'm crying with her. I feel like we're sisters now."
"I just went full force ahead, and I just felt like it was getting me through the process of helping others, and now it's like it has hit really hard," said Shaffer, in tears.
With the holidays upon us, the St. Paul's Homecoming Center is reaching out to help the victims of Hurricane Isaac in Braithwaite who are still trying to start over, and they're hoping that people throughout the area will help the people in this community recover.
"So the money will go to the purchase of a gift card for a needy family," said Connie Uddo. "Either in Braithwaite or in the Northeast? Correct."
"We have so many people in such a large magnitude of devastation that if we can just help one little community," said Suzanne Shaffer. For details about donating to help the victims of Isaac or Sandy this holiday season, including volunteering, call the St. Paul's Homecoming Center at 644-4125, or visit their website at www.stpaulshomecomingcenter.org .
The St. Paul's Homecoming Center is also reaching out to the victims of Hurricane Sandy, with gift cards, and helping Team Braithwaite fill a tractor trailer truck with winter clothing, food, blankets, infant formula and diapers. It leaves Monday for New Jersey.
Suzanne's Braithwaite home is one of 25 the St. Paul's Homecoming Center helped gut, plus they gave gift cards to 65 other families.
After Katrina ruined her home, Connie Uddo became director of the St. Paul's Homecoming Center, helping hurricane victims rebuild. Suzanne Shaffer founded Team Braithwaite after Isaac to distribute donated supplies to victims in her community, but now she is struggling to gut her home.