A 60-year-old Dennis woman who suffers from multiple sclerosis called the Needy Fund for help with her gas bill.

Her situation had worsened when she fell in the middle of night and broke her neck.

The woman was lucky the fall did not damage her spinal nerves, but she did need surgery and now must use a wheelchair.

She receives a small disability check with an annual income of less than $13,000. The time it took recovering from the fall and subsequent surgery delayed her fuel assistance application. Shut-off season had begun, and she was issued a shut-off notice.

The Needy Fund provided the funds to prevent that from happening while her fuel assistance application was being processed.

There are many human service agencies offering assistance to those in need. But the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund has been helping with a host of immediate, short-term emergencies such as food, rent, medical costs and other basic expenses since 1936.

No cash is given to Needy Fund recipients.

Instead, the agency pays vendors through a voucher program. The case described above was provided by the Needy Fund on condition of anonymity.

Donations, which are tax deductible, may be made at needyfund.org.

Or, checks can be made payable to the Cape Cod Times Needy Fund and mailed to Cape Cod Times Needy Fund, P.O. Box 36, Hyannis, MA 02601; or dropped off at the Times offices, 319 Main St. in Hyannis.

Those needing assistance may contact the Needy Fund at 508-778-5661 or 800-422-1446.

Questions can be emailed to info@needyfund.org. The Needy Fund is also on Facebook at facebook.com/NeedyFund or on Twitter: @NeedyFund.