The public's response to Baltimore' recent surge in gun violence gives hope to all of us who care about the city ("In face of violence, hope that city can come together," July 8).

People are rallying together to express their outrage and develop action plans to address these awful killings. Good, caring people are out in the streets sending the message that violence will not be tolerated.

Behind these visible displays of community action, are the daily works of faith communities and nonprofit organizations. Day after day, members of the faith and nonprofit sectors are working to change the root problems of poverty, unemployment and violence.

Throughout Baltimore City, faith communities and nonprofits work together to help people released from prison rebuild their lives through workforce development. They also provide safe places for youth to gather for academic study and fun.

The problems are deep and much work remains to be done. There are children who are homeless, whose parents have lost jobs, who are living in homes surrounded by vacant properties. These are serious problems that require all of us to help our brothers and sisters in our own way.

All of us have the capacity to do something good for another person. Donate to a food pantry. Hire a teenager. Teach computer skills to an adult. Contribute to a charitable organization. Pay it forward with the blessings you have been given.

Nancy Fenton, Baltimore

The writer is acting executive director of Episcopal Community Services of Maryland.