A good meal to share in each other’s company is at the top of the Oamil family Christmas wish list.
Waianae residents Hermogenes and Dale Oamil have been dealing with chronic health problems for nearly five years and the medical bills have made it hard to make ends meet.
Hermogenes, 67, has been in the hospital four times this year. He is blind, 60 percent deaf and in a wheelchair. He has diabetes and regularly undergoes dialysis.
His wife, Dale, 59, also a diabetic, has high blood pressure and back problems.
|How to help
More than 800 families will be served this year by the Good Neighbor Fund. To donate to the Oamil family in particular, use the Family Code: HWV 54
>> At the bank: Donations will be accepted at all First Hawaiian Bank locations through Dec. 31.
>> Online: Go to HelpingHandsHawaii.org and click on the “donate now” button to make a gift via PayPal. Specify “Good Neighbor Fund.”
>> By mail: Make your check payable to “Good Neighbor Fund” and mail it to Helping Hands Hawaii, 2100 N. Nimitz Highway, Honolulu, HI 96819. Attention: Good Neighbor Fund.
>> Donations of goods: Drop off at the address above.
>> Call: 440-3800
“It’s been hard. Both of us used to work, but we had to stop due to illnesses. We were close to being homeless and having nothing, but we were able to get some VA benefits,” Dale said. They also receive support from Catholic Charities Hawaii.
The medical bills are overwhelming, she explained.
Still, “We consider ourselves blessed, even though we are going through this stuff,” Dale said. “We have each other. Our daughter, Amber, lives with us and helps a lot with shopping, picking up medications, making our appointments and with transportation.”
Dale helps care for her grandchildren when her other daughter is at work, which helps lift her spirits. “They are such a joy and a high point in my life,” she said.
The children help ease the stress of living paycheck to paycheck. “It’s stressful living on a budgeted income,” Dale said. “The money goes to bills and to keep a roof over our heads.”
Daughter Amber, 30; grandchildren Emmanuel, 2-1/2, and Essceness, 1
Hermogenes: A good dinner for the family
Dale: Desserts to accompany the meal
Amber: Flowers, a Walmart gift card
Emmanuel: Learning toys, riding toys or small toys, clothes (toddler size 2), shoes (toddler size 8)
Essceness: Learning toys, riding toys or small toys, clothes (18 months), shoes (toddler size 3)
Dale says her faith carries her through the hard times. When things are too stressful, she says, she takes a step back and puts things into perspective.
“I say my prayers. There were days when we didn’t know how we would get our next meal or where we would sleep, but by the grace of God, everything worked out. I appreciate my life so much, especially my family and friends.”