Postal carrier Ron Lynch was delivering mail in a Salt Lake City suburb, when he saw 12-year-old Matthew Flores taking ads out of a junk mail bin. The boy asked Lynch if he had any extra junk mail he could read.
The unusual question prompted Lynch to start a conversation with the boy, and what he learned prompted him make a plea to his friends on Facebook on Matthew's behalf.
"Today while delivering mail to his apartment complex, I saw him reading ads, and then he asked me if I had any extra mail he could read," Lynch posted. "He told me his wish is to have books to read. I told him the library had many, but he said they don't have a car, and couldn't afford the bus."
Lynch asked his friends to help, hoping some of them would come through and send a few books.
"Please share and let's get him tons of reading material! Most kids his age want electronics! It's great to see his desire, and you should have seen him beam when I said I could help!"
Lynch told local news station KSL that he thought Matthew might end up with 50 to 60 books, but his request took off on social media. Within just a few days, hundreds of books had arrived from all over the world, including the United Kingdom, Australia and India, and Lynch predicts Matthew will have thousands of books on his shelves soon.
Matthew told the TV station that he was surprised when the books started showing up at his door. "They said, 'These are books for you,' and I thought they were mistaken, but they were for me."
The amazing response prompted Lynch to write a new Facebook post:
"I'm stunned and humbled by what happened... I deserve little credit. Its all of you who cared enough to do something about it that are the true heroes of this story."
Matthew vows that he will read every one of the books and explains his love for reading: "It's super fun and it's interesting. Plus, it gets you smarter."
Lynch says he and Matthew plan to pay it forward with a book drive where they'll give books to other children in similar circumstances.
If you want to send a book, here's the address:
C/O Sandy Post Office
8850 S 700 E
Sandy, Utah 84070
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