It all seemed to be unraveling for Oksana Kling and her family.
The Omaha woman, who struggles with severe arthritis in all her joints, blew out a knee last summer.
Her son, 19-year-old Cody Thornley, had a rough recovery after surgery in May to remove a cyst from his lower back. He needed an in-home nurse for four months and might need one again, Kling said.
On top of all that, Kling struggled to pay her bills. She supports the family with her in-home day care, OK Corral, while her husband, Albert, is working on a degree in psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha.
Kling and her family needed help, and they received it from the World-Herald's Goodfellows, which offers one-time emergency aid and provides holiday meal certificates to needy people in the area.
“It has really helped us stay on our feet,” said Kling. “We would be in a shelter without it.”
Goodfellows provided $500 to pay Kling's electric bill. She is running her child care business part time to help keep the family afloat. She can't open full time until she has knee surgery, which won't come until Medicaid approves it. She has been denied once and is in the appeal process.
The same goes for Thornley, who lives at home with Kling. He applied for Social Security benefits earlier this year but was denied because his disability was not long-term.
He is appealing that decision. He needs another lower-back surgery, but Kling said she doesn't know how they will pay for it.
Through her struggles, Kling appreciates the Goodfellows' aid. Without it, she is certain her family would be separated.
“I'm sure we'd be homeless without it,” Kling said. “Now we're able to stay together.”