Responding to Coronavirus:

Major Crisis Relief Fund Accelerates Aid to Hundreds of Cape and Island Residents

Fund now totals over $900K, but demand expected to exceed available funds

Barnstable, MA, May 5, 2020—Since March, the Major Crisis Relief Fund (MCRF) has responded to calls from almost 900 local residents who have struggled in the wake of the coronavirus and have requested assistance. MCRF has been providing critical financial aid primarily to individuals and families in need of food, while requests for rent support and other basic needs have been rising.

“Fortunately, our message is being heard, and increased fundraising has allowed us to help those hardest hit by this unprecedented public health emergency,” said Peter Meyer, President of the Board, Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, and President/Publisher of the Cape Cod Times. “MCRF has raised over $900,000 since our inception in 2016, with more than half of that total raised in the last couple of months. But we’re receiving more calls every day, the repercussions of this crisis are ongoing, and we need to reach our goal of $1.5 million.”

According to Judy Walden Scarafile, MCRF Managing Director, “MCRF is a leading local fund created specifically to provide humanitarian aid to individuals following a disaster. In contrast to larger funds in Boston, we are here to help our neighbors on the Cape and Islands.”

MCRF has been collaborating with the Cape Cod Foundation and the United Way of Cape Cod and Islands to maximize responsiveness to local individuals and organizations; it is also working closely with the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. “We are mobilizing to meet unique needs in our communities, including our large elderly population who are particularly at risk,” said Scarafile.

MCRF was formed as an arm of the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, a well-established 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to provide funding to meet basic immediate and ongoing needs that are unmet by traditional forms of public and private disaster aid.

Donor Generosity

MCRF recently established Sponsorship Levels to recognize the generosity of local companies and individuals. MCRF is grateful to those recognized below and others as updated on

Platinum Level:  $75,000 and more

The Cape Cod Five Cents Savings Bank Charitable Foundation Trust (Founding Donor)


Gold Level:  $50,000 and more

Jane Davenport (Founding Donor)

Cape Cod Healthcare (Founding Donor)

Barnstable County Mutual Insurance Company (Founding Donor)



Silver Level:  $25,000 and more

Shepley Wood Products (Founding Donor)

Daniel & Terese Heintzelman

Seaside Le Mans Race for the Community (Founding Donor)

The Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod Fund of the Cape Cod Foundation

Kelley Foundation (Founding Donor)


MCRF has an all-volunteer leadership team, which facilitates its accountability and cost effectiveness.

Donations are tax deductible within the full extent of the law; the tax identification of the Needy Fund is 222480332.


Neighbors Helping Neighbors

Examples of MCRF’s recent response include:

  • Waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, a 42-year-old parent has been unable to work at the clinic where she is employed, and her husband, a cook, was laid off from his restaurant. Their toddler is immunosuppressed, and the mom had to separate herself from her husband and child. They expect to exhaust their limited savings quickly. MCRF assisted with their car insurance so the father could buy necessities and the mother will be able to drive once cleared to return to work.


  • A young couple is still working, but the wife’s hours have been cut to 12 per week. They are anticipating the stimulus check from the government, but they could only pay 50% of their rent for April. MCRF will pay the other half of their rent to help keep this couple keep on track.


  • MCRF made a donation to A Baby Center in Hyannis, which supplies critical basic needs that ensure the health and safety of local babies in need. MCRF donated funds to the Center for formula for 79 infants whose parents water it down if they can’t afford it.


According to Scarafile, “MCRF’s mission is to respond to weather-related and man-made disasters. While we have dodged devastating hurricanes and blizzards the last several years, we also function as a rainy day fund to meet unexpected public health crises. Well, it’s raining, and this crisis has had devastating effects.”

She added that MCRF is poised to respond to changing needs as people may slowly return to work but are concerned about caring for their young children who will not be going back to school.

Making a Difference

Said Meyer, “I want to extend our thanks to all those who have stepped up in a grassroots effort to support us in responding to the coronavirus.  In addition, our special appreciation to MCRF’s founding sponsors: the Davenport family, Cape Cod Healthcare, Kelley Foundation, Seaside Le Mans, Shepley Wood Products, Cape Cod Five Cents Saving Bank, and Barnstable County Mutual Insurance. I would like to single out Jane and DeWitt Davenport, President of The Davenport Companies. The Davenports helped us launch our fund, and the invaluable assistance from their company continues today through the professional contributions of many Davenport employees.”

To donate, visit, call 508-778-7107, email, or send a check made out to Cape Cod Times Needy Fund – Major Crisis Relief, Major Crisis Relief Fund, P.O. Box 804, Hyannis, MA 02601.

To request assistance, call 508-778-7107 and leave your name and phone as prompted.  Since MCRF and The Needy Fund are experiencing an unusually high volume of requests, it may take up to a few days to receive a reply, but calls are being returned in the order they are received and as soon as possible.


Those calling with financial aid inquiries will speak with trained intake professionals who will provide information and referral counseling as needed.


About the Major Crisis Relief Fund
The Cape Cod and Islands Major Crisis Relief Fund (MCRF), a nonprofit disaster response organization, provides humanitarian aid to local individuals and families. Established in 2016 by the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, it addresses critical, long-term needs that are unmet by traditional forms of private and public disaster aid. Filling the existing gaps in preparing for and responding to natural disasters, such as hurricanes and blizzards, and man-made crises such as health epidemics and terrorism, the MCRF provides financial aid for food, housing, transportation, and medical/mental healthcare services. For more information, visit, call 508-778-7107, email, or visit MCRF on Facebook.