Most kids nowadays like to spend their free time playing video games or texting on their cellphone. Reading is often considered a chore—something parents and teachers forces them to do against their will. There are exceptions, of course.
One of those exceptions lives in Sandy, Utah. At 12 years old, Mathew Flores loved to read. He loved to read so much in fact, that he took to reading the newspaper whenever he could get his hands on it. And if the newspaper wasn’t around, he read junk mail.
While postal worker Ron Lynch was delivering the mail, Matthew asked him if he had extra junk mail that he could read.
“At 12 years old, he didn’t want electronics, he didn’t want to sit in front of the TV playing games all day, the kid just wanted to read,” Lynch told KSL.com.
The two got to talking, and what Lynch heard broke his heart. Despite his love of reading, Matthew didn’t own any books. When Lynch asked him why he didn’t go to the library, Matthew told him he didn’t have the money to afford a bus pass. So instead, he made do reading the junk mail that came every day.
Lynch wanted to help. He snapped a picture of Matthew and put it up on Facebook, thinking a few of his friends would be moved to donate a few books they had laying around their house. He had no idea that he would hear from people around the world wanting to send books for Matthew to read.
Shortly after Lynch asked for help getting some books for the little reader, the donations came pouring in.
The post office was having a hard time keeping up with how many book donations were being mailed in for young Matthew. Lynch became a regular fixture at the boy’s front door, delivering the latest batch of books sent in by generous people around the globe.
“More books!” Matthew’s little sister yelled when she saw Ron Lynch at the door.
While everyone is happy that Matthew has all the reading material he could hope for, he has a hard time believing that it’s all really happening. “They said, ‘These books are for you,'” Mathew said. “I thought they were mistaken, but they were for me.”
Lynch said he was compelled to act because Matthew reminded him of when he was a kid. “I started reading at a very early age. My mother instilled a love of books in me,” he said.
Because of the generous donations, Matthew has more books than he could have ever thought possible.
Not that Matthew wouldn’t be able to read every book in his quickly growing library, but he has plenty of books to keep him occupied now. With the donations continuing to arrive, he and Lynch have decided to help others who are short on reading material.
They’re putting together a book drive so they can pay the outpouring of kindness forward. When asked what he thinks of everything that is happening to him, he doesn’t quite know how to respond.
“I don’t even know,” Matthew says timidly.