Smorgon donation changes a young man’s life

July 28, 2010 by Ricci Hoffman
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Guy Slome’s new recumbent bicycle is more than just a novelty…it is a new lease on life.  

Guy Slome

Thanks to Jewish Care and funding from the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation, Guy’s bicycle will enable him to join his family for Sunday morning bike rides, and promises a new level of independence he would not have otherwise had.

Guy, who suffers partial paralysis of the left side of his body, is just one of a number of people whose lives are being fundamentally and positively impacted by a generous $100K donation from the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation.

The grant has enabled 18 Jewish Care clients with a disability to receive funding for the purchase of aids and equipment, home modifications and otherwise unaffordable therapies that will assist them to live safely and independently in their own home.

Existing clients of Jewish Care were invited to apply for the funding and final applicants were selected based on the impact the funding would have in significantly improving their quality of life.

Jonathan Slome, Guy’s father, says the family was overwhelmed when they received news that Guy’s application had been successful.  “There is so much need out there,” says Jonathan. “The bike will make a big difference to Guy’s life,” he said, “and we are very grateful.”

“Families caring for a child with a disability often struggle financially,” said Bill Appleby, CEO of Jewish Care, “and often have to wait years before receiving government funding which only partially covers the costs of vital equipment or services. Evidence shows that the presence of disability within a household produces a virtual ‘income penalty’ of around 32.9%, resulting in a poverty rate which is six times greater than the general population.”

Andrew Blode, CEO of the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation, was delighted at the opportunity to assist in such a concrete way. “Being able to assist people, engage with them, and see how they have been helped gives us a tremendous sense of satisfaction,” he said.

Mr Appleby said, “We are thankful for the initiative and generosity of families and foundations such as the Jack and Robert Smorgon Families Foundation. We encourage others in the community to follow their wonderful example and work together with us to make a difference to the lives of people in our community.”

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