I work as a police officer in a large Midwestern city, a Marine combat veteran and often come across people who are having a bad day.
I was dispatched on a welfare check of a person who was sitting in the grass of an apartment complex late at night. The only information that I had was the individual was crying and refused to talk to anyone. I arrived and saw a man, about 23 years old, crying in the courtyard. I sat with him for about a half hour, trying to talk with him but he wouldn't open up much aside from saying that he had lost his brother.
Now, today happened to be one of the times that I had played Adventurers League earlier in the week and I still had all my character sheets, dice and sourcebooks with me. I asked the guy to hold on for a moment while I grabbed something out of my car. I ran to my car and got my GenCon bag with all my D&D stuff in it, pulled out a clipboard and went back to him. I asked him what his brother's name was and wrote it in the "Character Name" section. Then I asked the young man to describe his brother in as much detail as he felt comfortable, writing down as much detail as possible. Then, I cracked open the books.
"Hey, man. I can see you're going through a hard time and I want to try and help a bit. From what you have told me, I've started making a character in D&D based on your brother. We are gonna go through this together so you don't have to do this alone."
We sat in the middle of a dimly lit courtyard, police lights going and made a Human Paladin, in memory of his late brother.
After rolling for stats and getting everything written out, i gave him the Character Sheet and told him to never quit fighting. Almost immediately, he hugged me and informed me that he was going to start playing and make his brother proud. We sat for a while longer waiting for his ride to show up, discussing the intricacies of playing for a while.
His ride showed up a half hour later and he hugged me one more time, reminding me that he was going to continue living life to the best of his ability before leaving.
I never saw the kid again and hope he is doing well.
Ever since that day, I always carry my D&D kit with me on patrol in hopes that maybe one day, it will help another person like it did that young man.