The Gap in Sydney, Australia is an infamous suicide spot. Each week, a person decides to jump off the cliffs into the Pacific. Don Ritchie lived across the street from the Gap for over 50 years. He, quickly, became known among locals as the “Angel of the Gap.”
In 2010, the former life insurance salesman and WWII veteran told an interviewer, “If I see someone who looks like they might be contemplating a jump, I walk over and strike up a conversation. You can’t just sit there and watch them.” It’s estimated that Don has saved at least 160 people, but he’s family bets it’s more along the lines of 400.
Sadly, Don passed away in 2012. When he was asked how he helped the people on the edge, he said he would, “offer a warm smile and ask if they’d like to talk and invites them back to his house for tea.” Such a simple act.
He once told ABC News, “Isn’t it wonderful that we live here and we can help people?” A lesson we all can learn from.