12 year old Mathew Flores loves to read. So much so, that one day he asked his local mailman in the Salt Lake City suburb where he lives if he could have any junk mail that was going spare. Why such a strange request from such a lover of reading? This was the same question asked by Ron Lynch, the mailman for Mathew’s neighbourhood.
Mathew told Ron a heartbreaking story of how he loved to read, but didn’t have – and couldn’t afford – proper books and therefore resorted to reading advertisements in newspapers and, hopefully, the junk mail Ron would provide. When encouraged to go the library, Mathew explained how his family didn’t own a car and he couldn’t afford the bus ride there and back. What Ron did next, however, went well beyond providing scraps of junk mail leftover…
He sent out a rallying cry from his Facebook account, asking friends to send any books they could spare for a young boy who just wanted to read. “Most kids his age want electronics,” Ron wrote, “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, so I’m counting on you!” Ron expected 50 or so books to be shared by his friends, but what followed was nothing short of spectacular.
The post went viral, and soon hundreds of books were being sent from all over the world. They arrived from places as far apart as the UK, and Australia, India and the west coast of the USA. The continually modest Ron credits these people as “the real heroes” and is so thankful for their support that went far beyond his expectations.
Mathew also couldn’t believe his eyes when the books came pouring in. “They said, ‘these books are for you’ and I thought they were mistaken, but they were for me,” he said. He’s promised to share the books with all his friends – and says he can’t wait to do so – and he’s also promised to read every last one. Quite a feat if you look below at how many have been sent already (and this is only a selection)!
The books continue to pour in and saying “good morning” to your friendly, local mailman has never seemed more necessary.
For those interested, books can be sent to Mathew at the following address:
c/o Sandy Post Office
8850 S 700 E
Sandy, UT 84070