About 20 years ago when I was in college, I was on a bunch of email mailing lists (they were groups where people on the list got emails and sent them to each other). One night around midnight I was checking my email and saw an email on one of those lists from someone (a stranger) who said she was about to kill herself. She was sitting there with a bottle of pills. She had some issues in her life that were really hard, including the death of her best friend. I wrote to her, and gave her my phone number, asking her to call me. About 5 minutes later she did. She lived somewhere in the Midwest, and I was in NJ. We talked a bit, but back then long distance calls were very expensive, so she said she couldn’t afford the call. I was just a poor college student myself, without much money, but I told her I’d call her back so I would get the charges. I didn’t know how I was going to get the money to pay for the call, but I did it anyway. I ended up talking to her for 8 hours. All the way up until 9 am when I had to go to class. She got rid of the pills while we were talking. So she did not commit suicide.

I stayed in touch with her and we became friends, but after a while we lost touch. I don’t know where she is now, but I am very glad I was able to help her. I will always remember her.

When the phone bill came, it was nowhere near as much as I thought. I think the phone company made a mistake and never charged for the call. At the time, it seemed like a miracle. I am glad I was able to help this person and I’ll never forget it. – Sarah

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