Sandy, Utah, postal worker Ron Lynch first met Matthew Flores when he was delivering. The 12-year-old stood nearby sifting through a bin collecting junk mail, then asked Lynch if he had any more.
"A young man was standing here reading junk mail and asked me if I had any extra," Lynch told KSL.
He soon found out that the 12-year-old read junk mail and newspapers because he didn't have any books. When Lynch asked about visiting the library, he told the Sandy postal office worker that he couldn't afford a bus ticket.
Instead of just handing him more junk and calling it a day, Lynch snapped a photo of Flores and took to his Facebook page on July 23 to ask his friends for a few books. He told the station the boy touched his heart as a lover of books himself:
"I was given many books as a child, and it's time to help someone else! Please share and let's get him tons of reading material!" he wrote as part of a longer post. "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 included Flores' P.O. Box address at the end.
"10, 20, 30 of my friends might give him books, he might end up with 50 or 60 books," Lynch says he thought.
The post read in full:
Facebook friends... This is Matthew Flores. 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. 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. So... let's get this 12 year old some books! Let's help him. I was given many books as a child, and it's time to help someone else! 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!Matthew FloresC/O Sandy post office8850 s 700 eSandy, Utah 84070He's counting on me, so I'm counting on you!
Then, something incredible happened: the post went viral ...
Tons of books came pouring in and as of today, the post has more than 14,000 shares. Even from people as far as the UK. Now, Flores has an entire bookshelf dedicated to holding them.
He says he wants to read them all.
"[It's] super fun and it's interesting, plus it gets you smarter," he said. "I'm just super happy."
Due to the influx of books coming in, the post office and Flores will hold a book drive for other kids who want to read as well, but may not have the books to do so.