It is impossible to add to the eloquent, profound testimonies that have been expressed in response to the Emanuel AME Church massacre, especially by the noble families most closely associated with the victims of this tragedy.

However, I would like to relate two generous acts of unity and hospitality that occurred at the corner of Morris and King streets on June 18 during the midday vigil at Morris Brown AME Church.

More than 300 people were gathered outside in the hot sun, unable to join the overflow crowd inside, though with them in spirit. Soon word spread that just steps away were nearby businesses where people could sit and escape the heat.

Sure enough, Amelia Handegan Interiors and Dixie Furniture Co. had thrown open their doors and were welcoming the crowd inside to sit on their showroom furniture, cool off in the air conditioning and enjoy a drink of water. Before long, the young employees had rigged up an iPad and speakers, streaming the church service in from a block away for everyone to see and hear.

Thank you to these businesses and citizens for helping lead the way in our healing and recovery.

Virginia C. Beach

Gibbes Street

Charleston