When 11-year-old Gabe Rongier met a young girl on Snapchat as part of a Snapchat group with his friends, he had no idea what a significant part he'd play in her life. Even though Gabe and his new friend lived nearly 1,000 miles away — he in Pennsylvania, she in Texas — that didn't stop him from feeling an authentic connection, and perhaps responsibility, even, to his friend when she started saying things on Snapchat that were concerning.
According to ABC News, she sent Gabe distressing messages on Snapchat and he was fearful that she might need help. He immediately texted his mom, who wasn't sure whether or not the messages were real, and rather than listening to his parents who told him not to contact authorities, Gabe trusted his gut and did something about it. He called a suicide prevention hotline, told them what was happening in Texas, and they contacted local law enforcement to intervene.
"Most parents want their kids to listen to them, we're grateful he didn't listen and trusted his instincts," Gabe's mom Lori told ABC. They're grateful because the local police department in Grand Saline, TX, were able to get the girl the help she needed.
It didn't stop there. The police department was so impressed by Gabe's willingness to take action they sent him a letter. "It takes a big man to do what you did," Grand Saline K9 Officer Chandler wrote to Gabe.
Not only did Gabe intervene and get someone the help she needed, but he trusted his gut that something was wrong and was incredibly resourceful in figuring out a way to step in. This is an amazing act!
If you or a loved one are in need of any help, the National Suicide Prevention organization has several resources and a 24/7 lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.