Rhode Island man takes calls from public in need of help - Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston

Rhode Island man takes calls from public in need of help

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NORTH SMITHFIELD, R.I. (MyFoxBoston.com) -- Ryan Fitzgerald has taken to YouTube again to encourage anyone needing to talk, about anything, to call him. This is not the 26-year-old's first time reaching out to the public.

Fitzgerald first posted to YouTube in 2007 after watching the movie Pay It Forward. The video he posted had thousands of page views in just a few days and encouraged anyone who needed to talk to call him. He said his phone rang off the hook.

After a six-year break, Fitzgerald has posted another YouTube video that lists his phone number and again encourages people to call him. The video had received almost 500,000 page views since it was posted Thursday and Fitzgerald's phone has rang more than 900 times. 

"The fact that there's people in this society who are willing to call a complete stranger, I mean I didn't think it was real or possible myself so a lot of people call and say is this even real? And I tell them yes, this is very real," he said.

He decided to have his twin brother, Sean, help him answer calls since he fielded over 1,000 calls since he posted the video.

"The more calls he got and the more genuine I saw people were with the things they wanted to talk to him about, I started to take it more seriously," Sean Fitzgerald said.

People from all over the world, including South America and Europe, have taken Ryan Fitzgerald up on the offer. They talk to him and his brother about various topics including their sexuality, professional goals, addiction and more.

The brothers are trying to turn this into something much bigger so they can help even more people.

 

They do get pranks, but most calls are real.

"Eighty percent of my phone calls are genuine, heartfelt and they actually ask me or tell me something they've never told anyone else," Ryan Fitzgerald said.

The twins are not doctors or psychologists. This is their passion project, and they dream of taking it on the road to meet any callers out there, who would like to meet face to face.

"We don't want it just to be another 15 minutes of fame we want this to turn into something much more," Sean Fitzgerald said.

The twins are trying to figure out a way to make that dream happen and turn their hobby into a full time career. They've started a Go Fund Me page to get the ball rolling.

And if you decide to call the number on the YouTube video... yes, you will get through.

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