GOOD NEWS
07/28/2015 12:55 pm ET Updated Jul 29, 2015

Boy Who Couldn’t Afford Books Asks Mailman For Junk Mail To Read; Mailman Responds Spectacularly

Because he couldn't buy books or a bus pass to the library, he'd been reading ads.

 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. He told The Huffington Post hundreds of books have been delivered to the boy's door so far, with hundreds more likely on their way, and he's amazed at the generosity.

Mathew and his sister, Jasmine, with some of the books.

"I'm stunned and humbled by what happened," said Lynch. "I deserve little credit."

He has a message for everyone who has sent in a book or contributed:

"Its [sic] all of you who cared enough to do something about it that are the true heroes of this story. Bless you all, and thank you all so much!"

When books first started arriving, Flores was in disbelief.

"They said, 'These books are for you,'" Flores told Salt Lake City's Deseret News on Sunday. "I thought they were mistaken, but they were for me."

He said he can't wait to share the books with other kids, and has promised to read every last one.

Those interested in sending books may ship them to:

Mathew Flores
c/o Sandy Post Office
8850 S 700 E
Sandy, UT 84070

This article has been updated with additional comments from Lynch, and information about where books may be sent.

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