August-September 2020

This is a time that tries souls.  The COVID-19 pandemic rages on, preying on vulnerable bodies and spirits and testing our commitment to science and to holding one another in caring community.   The nation’s political tensions pulsate.  Renewed, urgent and critical cries for racial justice call people into the streets and into action.  In this maelstrom, the Council focuses on tending to our neighbors, assisting with access to essential practical needs, opportunities for spiritual grounding and work for social justice.  

Our intrepid Staff continues to stretch their hearts and skills to serve our neighbors.   Thus far, we have not had any staff or volunteers test positive for the virus and so we continue our “to go model” of service at A Baby Center, Hands of Hope and Faith Family Kitchen.  As we have settled into new routines, we are also carefully assessing the safety and feasibility of “soft” re-openings and resuming modified services with Spaulding Chaplaincy and Youth StreetReach.  All staff participated in a training on infection prevention and control.    We remain committed to safety, and we remain flexible to meet needs as they emerge in this constantly changing environment. 

Meanwhile, other aspects of the Council’s work continue.  Following is a listing of various highlights. 
  • The Council helped to organize an Interfaith Service Memorial led by Rev. Dr. Kristin Harper that was held on the Hyannis Green June 29 to lament the murders of so many Black and Brown brothers and sisters and to call for reconciliation.  Over 125 people attended this meaningful gathering.
  • The Council encouraged clients to complete the 2020 Census by distributing over 1500 flyers in English, Spanish and Portuguese.  This was part of a collaborative effort with Duffy Health Center to reach our community’s homeless population and other hard-to-reach groups. 
  • We prepare for our upcoming Annual Assembly to be held virtually on Thursday, Sept 24.  Please plan to join us as we celebrate the Council’s work – made possible only with the help of our many partners. 
We give thanks for all your continued support and guidance.   May you be and stay well.


    Edye Nesmith
    Executive Director



Council News

Council's Annual Assembly - SAVE THE DATE!! 9/24/2020
Our 2020 Annual Assembly will be a virtual meeting this year! While we are disappointed not to be able to gather safely at this time, we are also excited about sharing the work of the Council in a new format. Please join us from the comfort of your home - or wherever your internet connection may bring you - on Thursday, September 24th at 6:00 pm. More details to follow later this month.

We look forward to seeing you in September. Stay safe and be well!

Summer Appeal 2020

With gratitude for your continued partnership, we’d like to update you on how the Cape Cod Council of Churches is meeting the increased needs of our community during this time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Council is privileged to operate as a frontline provider of “essential services." Throughout the shutdown, we adapted our programming and developed new ways to serve our neighbors in need. We invite your financial support to help meet our increased costs as we alleviate suffering during this extraordinary time. Together, we are “Serving God by Serving Others.”
Thank you.
Donate by check to our mailing address:
320 Main St, Hyannis MA 02601

or online through our website:

Cape Cod Council of Churches, Inc. is a charitable 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization.

Another event to add to your calendar! Join us for...

John McDermott – Hymns of Hope
A Virtual Benefit Concert from Your Living Room
October, 2020


John McDermott, formerly of the acclaimed Irish Tenors, partnered with CHAMP Homes last year for their annual fundraiser. This year, CHAMP Homes has planned a virtual event with Mr. McDermott and has invited Duffy Health Center and the Cape Cod Council of Churches to partner with them. This will be a one-of-a-kind event, featuring three area non-profits who serve those most vulnerable in our community. Please stay tuned for more details, coming soon!




A Baby Center, Hyannis
A Baby Center, Nantucket

A Baby Center Hyannis offers “To Go” bags of baby essentials for existing clients on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.  This is a “drive up window” service only; no clients are to enter the building. Summer is in full swing and A Baby Center is now giving out pre-made bags of summer clothing during diaper pick up visits, also Wednesday and Thursday from 10 am - 12 pm.  A Baby Center is located at 81 Willow Ave, Hyannis. For diapers, wipes and formula, clients may come once every 30 days. Not a client yet? No worries, please ask for a new client form. Email Robin Hayward at or message her through A Baby Center's Facebook page.

A Baby Center Nantucket continues to serve our Island clients by providing diapers and wipes, also in a "To Go" format. ABC continues to ship diapers, wipes and formula to Nantucket, where they are accepted by a thankful community! Thank you to Elise Norton of the Nantucket Family Resource Center for her help in distributing baby essentials to our Island neighbors. Nantucket Family Resource Center has been very helpful in this time when travel to the Island was discouraged. We are so thankful for their partnership!

Volunteers: ABC needs you! We have socially distancing volunteer opportunities we would love to fill! ABC has gone from a vibrant 50 volunteers to 10 and the workload is heavy, but if you join us it will be that much lighter. Your obligation is only 2 hours per week and we have fun even if we are more than 6 feet apart wearing gloves and masks!! The job is a pleasure! We make bags of outfits and diapers and wipes and have them all ready to give to grateful families when they pick up diapers and wipes. Email Kelly at to inquire!

Donations: To continue to provide our "To-Go" bags to our clients we would love to receive the following items, in new or gently used condition. All donations are to be handled masked and gloved.

  • Summer/fall pj's 
  • Children’s Books
  • Small toys
  • Receiving blankets & toddler blankets
  • Wash cloths
  • Bibs 
  • burp cloths
  • Light weight sweatshirts or jackets
  • Baby Bath
  • Baby Shampoo
  • Baby Lotion 
  • Desitin or diaper rash cream
  • Pacifiers

Donations can be dropped off at A Baby Center (81 Willow St, Hyannis) between 10 am and 2 pm on Mondays, and from 10 am to noon on Wednesdays and Thursdays. THANK YOU!
We would like to thank SiteOne Landscaping in Mashpee for being true heroes for the last few years by storing and hand delivering our massive supplies of diapers, always with a smile and an “Our Pleasure!”. They passed the torch on to Cape Air, which has generously made storage space available to us at one of their hangars. We are so very grateful! Check out our new digs!! Community truly working together to make life easier for local families!!

Robin and Kelly recently visited ABC's new storage area located at one of the hangars belonging to Cape Air! Would you believe that this is only about 2 months' worth of diapers?


A Baby Center was so thankful to receive 20,000 diapers from Baby2Baby! This program fills the gaps in the delivery of infant and child necessities to families in need! They also donated 100 boxes of brand new clothing from the Janie and Jack children’s clothing line! We are truly blessed!

Recently, Robin and Kelly filled cars with diapers to support the virtual Community Baby Shower (in its third year) sponsored by The United Way of Cape Cod’s Women United! Joining us was Cape & Islands United Way President and CEO Mark Skala, and Beth Bowman, Director of Community Impact. Thank you, all!


Christmas in August!! We have this year's Christmas Card painted by master artist Marieluise Hutchinson ready and waiting to go home with you! Here is a sneak peek:


Cards can be mailed to you from A Baby Center or are available at many of your favorite local gift stores.
  • 15 cards and 15 envelopes for $15
  • CERAMIC TILE in this design for $60 (available only by mail)
Email: or call: 508-771-8157 to order. Limited Supply!

Marieluise Hutchinson titled this painting “Comfort and Joy,” and  we can see why! Can’t you just smell the fire in the fireplace and see your breath as you make that snowman? Cards are printed and ready to ship, so plan ahead and order now so you don't miss out (They sell out early every year!). The sole purpose of this card fundraiser is to provide diapers for needy babies! We are forever grateful to Marieluise. Thank you in advance for supporting A Baby Center! 
This year's Card is sponsored by:

Robin Hayward
Program Director, A Baby Center


Faith Family Kitchen

Faith Family Kitchen continues to provide nutritious dinners on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.  At the door, families and other adults are given a "To Go" bag containing Jeni's homemade soup and dinner plus a few supplemental items.  No guest may enter the Kitchen dining room or use the Kitchen bathrooms during regular service hours.  Faith Family Kitchen is located at Faith Assembly of God, 154 Bearse’s Way, Hyannis.

Volunteers - We are looking for you! Faith Family Kitchen is in Week 22 of having switched to a Permanent Pandemic Team. This team has been AMAZING! We are truly blessed.  As we continue to navigate the pandemic, we are looking to supplement our superhero team, not only to ensure that we maintain the highest levels of safety, but also to allow for much needed breaks. We are working towards a permanent Monday team, a permanent Wednesday team, and a permanent Friday team, but we’re starting with gathering a list of volunteers that may be willing to sub in here and there. It is critical that anyone who is willing to volunteer has lower risk factors and maintains the highest levels of safety in their private lives. If you are interested in possibly volunteering, please contact Jeni directly at or at 781-248-5753. Thank you!

Jeni Wheeler
Executive Chef and Program Director, Faith Family Kitchen


Hands of Hope Food Pantry and Outreach Center


We're all spruced up! Thank you to one of our volunteers (who wishes to remain anonymous) for our beautiful new sign, and to Jennifer Chase for her lovely flower garden display!

Hands of Hope continues to accept food donations at its pantry. We ask that all donations be handled masked and gloved. We are open to accept food M & F 10-3 and T, W, & TH 1-3. We will have you place the donations in a designated spot outside the Pantry door. If you feel safe going to the grocery store, the following items are especially needed now:

  • Soup
  • Crackers
  • Cereal
  • Kids' snacks and juice boxes
  • Baked Beans
  • Laundry Soap
  • Pasta Sauce
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Any Extra Garden Produce (please wash and bag before bringing)
Thank You!! We appreciate all the financial donations and gift cards you have sent our way. They have been a big help.
Financial Assistance is now available to Yarmouth renters through Hands of Hope Outreach Center, thanks to funding provided by the Town of Yarmouth. Click here to learn more about this program!

Blessings to all from everyone volunteering and receiving food at Hands of Hope.

Catherine Driscoll
Program Director, Hands of Hope Food Pantry and Outreach Center

Youth StreetReach, Homeless Ministries

Youth StreetReach temporarily suspended its in-person programming due to the health and safety concerns surrounding COVID-19. In the meantime, YSR and the Council have been working in conjunction with Duffy Health Center to help provide clothes, flip flops and other supplies for clients using portable showers which have been provided by MEMA. These showers have been a valuable resource for our local homeless community during a time when regular access to facilities has been restricted. Please refer to "Community News" for needed donations to support this program.

More collaboration with Duffy...
Each August, Duffy Health Center provides a cookout lunch in recognition of their patients and clients. Because of COVID, this year Duffy will be providing lunch from the window of the Federated Church, much like their successful Breakfast Program hosted at the window each morning. This lunch program is being underwritten by Youth StreetReach.  

Marilyn Larivier
Youth StreetReach Director


Hospital Chaplaincy, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

It was in March that I accepted the position of Chaplain at Spaulding Rehab Hospital. Due to restrictions resulting from the pandemic, I have not been on site at the hospital. We are pursuing creative ways to be of service to staff and patients. On Mondays and Thursdays, I am available for virtual visits from 3 pm to 5 pm. I also write a weekly article, “From the Chaplain’s Desk,” which is used in the Spaulding newsletter or distributed to patients as appropriate.

While there was a possibility of returning to the hospital in early August, the spread of COVID-19 remains at a level not conducive to do so at this time. God grant that in due time all of us may be able to return to the ministries we’ve known, continuing to care for all God’s people in need.

Rev. Ed Larson
Chaplain, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Covenant to Care for Foster Families

Thank you to all the wonderful people who are fostering children. It is quite a challenge and we are blessed by their willingness to help in a very tangible way. We may not all be able to foster children but we can help those who do. Are there foster families in your faith community? Would you like to help nurture a family? These folks are very busy and I am sure that they would be grateful for a home cooked meal, chocolate chip cookies or perhaps a pizza night. Covenant to Care for Foster Families would be happy to work with you by providing ideas and ways to give support to the family. Please email Miriam Erickson the Program Director at, or call her directly at 508-450-1080. Thank you.

Miriam Erickson
Program Director, Covenant to Care


Other Council News 

You may be wondering how you can help...

As the Council continues our models of "To Go" only, needs for assistance are clear.  Many have already kindly reached out to ask how to be of help.  Please see the following suggestions.   
Ways to Help: 
1)  Unrestricted Donations to our Summer Appeal.  Already, we are seeing an increase in demand for services as families grapple with job insecurity or loss.  Tax deductible donations in any amount made out to the Cape Cod Council of Churches grant us the maximum flexibility to meet needs as they evolve.  Please consider sending a check to our address:  320 Main Street Hyannis, MA  02601, or make a donation online through the PayPal link on our website,  Because we can purchase most of our supplies in bulk, we can stretch your dollars.  
2) Non-Medical Grade Face Masks for our front-line staff and volunteers and clients.
We appreciate donations of washable or disposable face masks that are not of medical grade (any N-95 face masks should please be donated to Cape Cod Healthcare).  We want to keep our staff and volunteers as safe as possible.  We need about 50 masks per week.  Please contact Edye Nesmith at if you can help. 
3) Gift Cards in amounts of $25 or more.  Gift cards allow clients to purchase additional food, gas or other necessary household items that we cannot otherwise provide and that are not covered by SNAP benefits (ex: toilet paper).  Certain grocery store gift cards allow people to order grocery delivery, which is a huge help as people need to stay in their homes.  We can mail these cards to known clients who cannot or should not come to the Food Pantry.  Gift cards can be ordered online through retailers' websites from the safety of your home, so this is a great way to offer assistance to others.  Please mail these cards to the Council office, 320 Main Street, Hyannis, MA 02601. In April, Hands of Hope Food Pantry mailed over 100 $25 gift cards for grocery purchases to their 102 Senior clients who could not come to the pantry for take out groceries. The contribution of these gift cards was an enormous help to so many.
4)  Formula for babies and White Tall 13 Gal. Plastic Trash bags.  A Baby Center is in need of Similac and/or Enfamil in any flavor to distribute to families in need.  Without sufficient stock, parents often must dilute what the baby receives, which means inadequate nutrition.  We are using the trash bags to pack up diapers and wipes for "to go" distribution to our existing clients.  Please drop off donations outside the door to A Baby Center on Wednesdays ONLY between 10am - 12pm. All donations should be handled masked and gloved. ABC is located behind the Federated Church, Hyannis, at 81 Willow Ave, Hyannis.  Please note that A Baby Center is not accepting any other donations of baby clothing or equipment at this time. 
5)  Commercial Sized Food Wraps, Paper Bags and New “To Go” Containers. Faith Family Kitchen needs bulk quantities of new, non-spill, lidded quart and pint-sized containers for our "To Go" model of dinners for individuals and families who are coping with food insecurity.  Additionally, we need sturdy paper grocery bags in bulk.  Please email Chef Jeni Wheeler if you can offer these, at  
6)  Bulk Quantities of Garden Fresh Produce.  Please consider donating unused bulk quantities of fresh meats and quality produce to Faith Family Kitchen.  We will then turn these into nutritional soups/stews for our diners.  Please be in touch with Chef Jeni Wheeler,
7) Prayers.  Prayers for all as we work to support one another through committed partnership.
Please direct any concerns or questions to  
Thank you for your continued care of one another. Together, and with your help, we'll see each other through.

During this COVID-19 crisis, you may be depending on Amazon for some essentials. Consider adding the Council as your preferred charity on AmazonSmile. The AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice. Click on the button below to get started, and thank you!


Donate to help your neighbors


Community News

Reckoning with Race: America's Failure
Zoom presentation by Gene Dattel
Wednesday, August 12 at 4:30 pm.
Please join in!


News from Duffy Health Center  As part of Health Center Week each August, Duffy Health Center provides a lunch in recognition of their patients and clients; usually a cookout in the health center's parking lot. Because of COVID, this year Duffy will be providing a lunch from the window of the Federated Church, much like their successful Breakfast Program hosted at the window each morning. Generously underwritten by Youth Street Reach, this year's lunch will be single, pre-packaged lunches served with a smile. Additionally, volunteers have stocked backpacks of important summer essentials for these patients, including shampoo, conditioner, soap, water, sunscreen and bug spray, among other items.

Unlike past years, gathering alongside each other is not an option, but Duffy didn't want to miss the cookout that so many look forward to each year. The lunch is also an opportunity for case managers and other support staff to connect with patients and clients to see what they may need. Since the health center is currently only seeing patients on a very limited basis, this touch point is very important for those most vulnerable in our community. Thank you so much to Youth StreetReach for your support! 

As you may know, we run the Shower Program at Duffy 3 days/week (Mon/Wed/Fri). Right now we're averaging between 20-30 people each day for showers. These are the items we are currently in need of:

  • Deodorant 
  • Shower bags
  • Shampoo
  • Soap 
  • Conditioner
  • Brushes 
  • Toothbrush 
  • Toothpaste 
  • Razors 
  • Sunscreen 

Please be in touch directly with Duffy Health Center at 508-771-9599. Thank you so much for your support!

Grandmothers Against Gun Violence Cape Cod has created a new literature campaign that we would like to share with everyone. Grandmothers has been a leading force in gun violence prevention on the Cape since our founding in 2013 after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown. Our new literature campaign, “You Can Save a Life Now!” focuses on predictable, preventable gun tragedies and the role any person, gun owner or not, can play in reducing gun violence in the areas of safe storage, domestic abuse, and suicide prevention.

Click here for more information about this new literature campaign! Thank you, and we hope you will join us!

Cape Cod Grandmothers Against Gun Violence

Are you a parent looking for a little extra support? Please check out the Cape Cod Family Resource Center and Cape Cod Neighborhood Support Coalition August newsletter! This free, monthly Cape and Islands-wide listing of workshops, meetings, groups and related programs for parents, grandparents, guardians, and primary caregivers of children has been compiled and distributed free for over twelve years. To view the newsletter, click here.

Calling All Cape Churches and Town Halls! The Cape-wide Bell Ringing for Hope, Unity, and Equality is underway.  It began on July 4th and will be repeated every Saturday between 4:00 pm and 4:03 pm until September 5th.  This video was recorded recently at the New Church in Yarmouth Port.  Please let us know if you are participating by sending us an e-mail at  We would like to include you in our Roster!

Thank you,
Gene Guill
Tales of Cape Cod Inc.

Hyannis Residents with Young Children - are you willing to participate in a study examining the effects of PFAS on your family's health? Hyannis is one of dozens of communities across the U.S. that has had to address the challenge of PFAS chemicals in their drinking water supply. PFAS chemicals are used to make products non-stick, stain resistant and waterproof, and they are also used in certain firefighting foams. Often called “forever chemicals” because they don’t break down, these toxic chemicals have been linked to numerous health effects, even at very low levels of exposure. Prior to 2016, PFAS levels in the Hyannis public water supply exceeded the EPA guideline for drinking water. Since then, the Hyannis Water System has installed water treatment systems that are very effective at filtering out PFAS. However, because these chemicals can linger in our bodies for years, we are concerned about potential long-term health effects, particularly among children who were exposed early in their lives.

Our PFAS-REACH children’s health study is looking to enroll 60 families in the Hyannis area with preschool-age children, along with 60 families in Portsmouth, NH. We want to learn more about the harmful effects of PFAS exposures from drinking water on children’s immune systems. We have also developed an online resource center for PFAS-impacted communities called the PFAS Exchange. Doing this study is more important now than ever, since we know that exposure to PFAS and other chemicals can negatively affect the ability of children’s immune systems to fight off infections.

Get more information through flyers in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Thank You!

Laurel Schaider, PhD
Silent Spring Institute
News from Bay to Sound Neighbors
Bay to Sound Neighbors is still here for our seniors in Dennis and Yarmouth. But due to the coronavirus, things have changed as has much else regarding our lives. Memberships will be extended until the end of July and then members will be surveyed for their input and thoughts regarding how to move forward.

During the shut-down, volunteers using a phone tree contacted a limited number of members each week just to say hello and help them feel less isolated. We are now offering curbside contactless pick-up and delivery for our members with our volunteers providing these services. Technology assistance is also available so members can stay in touch with families and friends.

Stay well and hopefully we will be able to see each other again in the near future.
Your friends at Bay to Sound Neighbors

About the Council
The Cape Cod Council of Churches serves people of all ages from Cape Cod and the Islands who are facing some of life's most difficult challenges.  We have been privileged to serve our neighbors for 60 years, meeting people at their points of critical need and helping them move forward to greater stability.  We are able to impact the lives of over 7,500 residents each year through the Council's six different programs and the work of over 400 volunteers.  With the help of churches and our community our mission comes to life, "Serving God by Serving Others," as we offer practical assistance, spiritual support and hope - all without regard for religious affiliation.
A BABY CENTER, Nantucket

Provides critical basic baby needs to income eligible families (WIC) for infants up to age four on Cape Cod and the Islands. The Hyannis Center serves over 500 babies each month.  Families receive diapers, wipes, formula, gently-used clothing and other baby necessities.

Matches a Cape & Islands congregation with Foster Care Families, supporting those families and the foster children in their care.  This program works in partnership with the MA Dept. of Children & Families.

Provides hot, nutritious meals to our food insecure neighbors three evenings a week in Hyannis.  Volunteer congregations and community groups help to prepare and serve free meals each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Offers emergency assistance to low-income families in the mid-Cape area (Mashpee to Harwich).  Assistance includes: food, clothing, small household goods and financial relief to prevent evictions.

Homeless Ministries Services
Offers short term emergency shelter for families and individuals facing homelessness.
Youth StreetReach
Enables teens to interact with our homeless neighbors by serving a meal and hearing firsthand how a life's path can lead to unexpected circumstances.

Sponsors a Chaplain at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital who offers prayers, hope and comfort to patients and families in their time of illness and recovery.
Leave Your Legacy on the Cape! Did you know that you can support The Cape Cod Council of Churches through a gift bequest in your will or living trust? A simple charitable bequest can provide very meaningful support to our mission as well as reduce the amount of estate and inheritance taxes paid. Bequests may be specific dollar amount or a percentage. It’s an easy and wonderful way to support the work of the Council.

You can also designate a portion or your entire required minimum distribution from your IRA to a charity and avoid paying taxes. Donors over age 72 are permitted to transfer to charity up to $100,000 per year directly from an IRA without counting it as income on their Federal Income Tax. If you would like bequest language or more information on making a gift from your IRA, please contact Laurie Goddard at Laurie is a professional financial advisor and serves on the Council's Development and Finance Committee.

Our mailing address is:
320 Main St
Hyannis MA 02601

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