Season for Caring: Where are they now? Aimee Shaw

Jared Shaw, left, plays the harmonica, as his brother, Justin Cassiday, right, listens at the Shaw home in Hutto.  Their mom has had breast cancer for 12 years. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Jared Shaw, left, plays the harmonica, as his brother, Justin Cassiday, right, listens at the Shaw home in Hutto. Their mom has had breast cancer for 13 years. RODOLFO GONZALEZ / AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN

Aimee Shaw and her family know that had it not been for Season for Caring, they would have lost their house and been homeless.

Shaw, 44, has stage 4 breast cancer. Her oldest son, Justin Cassiday, 27, who has post-traumatic stress disorder from his time in the Army, has finished his time in the Reserves and is trying to get disability. Cassiday and his wife, Brittany, had a son, Theodore, in June. Shaw’s son Jared, 21, who has autism, has had several seizures this fall.

Season for Caring, Shaw says, kept them afloat, especially after husband Al Shaw, 42, was laid off in March. Though he has a Master of Business Administration, he has not found a permanent job. He is supporting the family by mowing lawns and working a temporary on-call job.

Season for Caring “kept us in our house,” she says. “And we’re thankful for that.”

Season for Caring is the Statesman’s holiday charity program, but the donations help families throughout the year. Each year, local nonprofit agencies nominate families to the program. The 12 selected families get their needs met first, but then the agencies use extra money to help other families with basic needs such as rent, utilities, groceries, medical bills and transportation.

Since the program began in 1999, Season for Caring has raised more than $9.7 million. Last year, the greater Austin community donated $580,187 in monetary donations and $157,277 worth of in-kind goods and services.

Watch a video of Aimee Shaw before the campaign began, here.

On Sunday, we’ll introduce you to 12 new families. All this week we’re catching up with last year’s families. Find more at Statesman.com/seasonforcaring.