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Bill Capo / Action Reporter
Email: bcapo@wwltv.com | Twitter: @billcapo

BRAITHWAITE, La. -- It smells like the days after Katrina in Braithwaite and looks like it too, from the mud-covered, brown vegetation killed by the flood to the entire contents of homes being dumped on front lawns.

Volunteer help is critical.

'It's definitely tiring, and the work can be a little emotionally draining, because this is people's belongings and their livelihood, and it's all just kind of in the road you know,' said Americorps Volunteer Chris Leichty of Indiana. 'But it's also good to help out.'

The St. Paul's Homecoming Center and Youth Rebuilding New Orleans are staging a big volunteer event on Sunday to help Braithwaite residents gut and clean their homes. The day ends with a big thank-you party.

'It was heartbreaking, and I thought we really need to help these people, and I saw how little help they were getting,' said Connie Uddo of the St. Paul's Homecoming Center. 'I'm looking for about 150 volunteers.'

For those who live here, this is such an incredible task. But it is one of those occasions where you can see even a little help can make it so much easier on the residents, and that's why the St. Paul's Homecoming Center is trying to line up as many volunteers as possible.

Jesse Shaffer, the hero who rescued so many people during the flood with his dad, lives here, and organized Team Braithwaite during the recovery.

'My house is actually one of the only ones in our subdivision not gutted yet,' said Shaffer. 'There's still a bunch that need debris removal. ... The more people we can get down there Sunday the better.'

To register, call 504-264-3344, or email yrno@yrno.com.

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