Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

Volunteers at Crisis Lines Give of Their Time and Themselves

DEAR ABBY: You are a champion of the unsung hero, and I would like to bring to your attention the wonderful people who work the crisis telephone lines. Those selfless men and women provide an ear to those who think no one is listening, a word of praise to depressed callers, or sometimes just a shoulder to cry on. They give of their own time to listen without judging, and provide emergency referrals when necessary. Those caring individuals deserve far more praise than mere words can convey.

Please, Abby, thank them for me and all of the others who have been uplifted or saved by them. They have saved my life more than once. -- GRATEFUL CALLER IN FLORIDA

DEAR GRATEFUL: With extended families so widely dispersed these days that they barely know one another, crisis lines are often the only lifeline for those in distress. We should all be thankful for the generous, compassionate people who give of themselves to those in desperate need of help or someone to talk to. Bless them for the vital work they do.