Patricia Segal became a member of COA in 2017. Since then she has been both a regular participant in our weekly art class and an annual donor to help keep our services running to everyone who needs them.

In January, Pat’s husband Dr Harry Segal was featured in a book “Honouring Those Who Returned”,   produced by COA, honouring those souls who not only fought for the allies but also chose to make their homes in Sydney and become part of COA. We interviewed Pat about Harry’s life and Pat was presented with her family’s copy of the book on Australia Day 2020.

Pat decided then that on top of her annual donations to COA she would like to make a large one-off donation to support our Seniors Centre. But before we could use the donation, COVID-19 began to raise it’s head. By late February it became clear that activities in the Centre would need to be cancelled, and our members would be asked to stay at home.

It also became clear that COA’s outreach services would need to expand, to help support our members through the emotionally draining circumstances ahead, but we have a commitment to keep our volunteers safe while delivering these essential services. 

So CEO Rachel Tanny called Pat and explained the situation and COA’s changing needs. Pat immediately agreed that COA should use her donation, not as she originally intended it for the Centre, but rather to purchase the Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) needed for providing meals, parcels and grocery box deliveries. The funds also helped to purchase emergency food supplies to ensure Kosher Meals on Wheels  can keep coming no matter what.

With Pat’s help, the required PPE were purchased just as stocks ran out all over Sydney, so COA had a full compliment of gloves, masks, and hand sanitiser to give to the volunteers delivering for us, people packing deliveries in our hall, and social work staff who continue to visit clients at home in emergency circumstances, when a telephone call is simply not enough to give a complete picture of a person’s home support needs.

Pat’s donation quite literally saved the day and allowed COA to continue performing it’s essential services for the seniors of Sydney’s Jewish Community.

COA’s funding does not cover our outgoing expenses each year. It is only with the help of our community, and through the generosity of individuals like Pat, that we rise to the new challenges which arrive almost daily.

All donations are used to further COA programs, to deliver them to as many people as require them, and as often as they require them. So if you too want to perform a mitzvah that will impact the day to day welfare of the most vulnerable people in our community, please speak to our CEO about how your donation can be used to serve our seniors.