Over the last 12 days Lowcountry citizens have traveled an emotional journey, since the news broke about the horrific hate crime that took place at Mother Emanuel AME Church the evening of June 17.

The eyes of the world have looked on with amazement as Charleston has collectively embodied the essence of grace. The families devastated by this cruel act of violence have led the community on this path through the outpouring of love they have profoundly demonstrated.

Tens of thousands have attended community events over the past 12 days in an effort to provide comfort to those grieving and support the community through its process of healing.

As a sign of unity, our nation’s president and First Lady joined us to help the community and nation move forward by reminding us of our common humanity. The boundless emotional well wishes from around the world have created an internal source of comfort and pride for all in our region.

However, the reality is that following every crisis we have faced as a community or as a nation, the media soon move on to focus their attention on the next big event in the ever-changing news cycle. Although it may be easy for the media to move on, not everybody in our community will be able to flick a switch and press on with this thing we call life.

The good news is Trident United Way provides a resource that can help anyone who may need a little more emotional support, some new coping skills or access to information about continuing the conversation they started but never finished with their children.

This resource is called the Trident United Way 2-1-1 Hotline. Like 911 or 411, 211 is an easy-to-remember three-digit number people can call anytime to speak with trained staff who can provide help or to receive a referral for the help they need. This free, strictly confidential service answers calls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. One of the biggest obstacles faced by people in need is not knowing where to turn. Now it is easy. Just dial 2-1-1.

CHRIS Kerrigan

President and CEO

Trident United Way

Rivers Avenue