Twelve-year-old Mathew Flores is a bit different from the rest of us. He loves junk mail.
Until recently, advertisements were the only reading materials available to the boy. Flores loves reading so much that he approached his mailman in a Salt Lake City suburb on Friday to ask if he could have any junk mail.
The strange question prompted the mailman, Ron Lynch, to ask why. Lynch detailed Flores’ response in a heartbreaking Facebook post afterward.
“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 wrote. “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 then asked his Facebook friends if they could spare some books for Flores:
“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!”
“He’s counting on me,” he concluded, “so I’m counting on you!”
Lynch thought the Facebook post might bring in 50 to 6o books, he told local news outlet KSL. But his request went viral.
People from around the world, including the U.K., Australia and India, have sent books, Lynch said. Hundreds of books have been delivered to the boy’s door so far, and Flores said he was taken aback by the generosity.