Ryan Fitzgerald is unemployed, lives with his father and apparently has enough time for 5,000 people he doesn’t know. The 20-year-old Fitzgerald posted a video on YouTube with his cell phone number, after which he received more than 5,000 calls and text messages. Fitzgerald said he wanted to “be there,” for anyone who needed to talk. “I never met you, but I do care,” a spiky-haired Fitzgerald told the camera. He planned to take and return as many calls he could, but on Monday at 5 a.m., his T-Mobile cell phone payment will begin charging him for his generosity when he is no longer eligible for free weekend minutes.
“I haven’t quite figured out what I’m going to do about it. Come Monday, no way I’m going to just hang up on people and say, ‘I don’t have the minutes.’ Some people’s own mothers won’t take the time to sit down and talk with them and have a conversation. But some stranger on YouTube will. After six seconds, you’re not a stranger anymore, you’re a new kid I just met.” Fitzgerald, who said people consider him “easy to talk to,” was inspired by Juan Mann’s YouTube video offering “Free Hugs” to strangers.