While most 12-year-olds these days are interested in the latest technology trends, Mathew Flores likes reading junk mail and newspapers.
On Friday, mailman Robert Lynch was delivering mail to the suburbs of Salt Lake City when he noticed Flores was reading junk mail next to the mailboxes outside of his apartment.
Lynch was initially surprised when he saw the young man reading advertisements, but was further moved after Flores approached him for additional reading material. He could not believe that a 12-year-old was more interested in reading than video games.
Lynch suggested that Flores go to the library, but Flores said that he did not have enough money to buy a bus pass and told Lynch that the walk was too far.
After hearing young Flores’s plight, Lynch figured the least he could do was ask his Facebook friends for some help. Lynch wrote on his wall:
“Facebook friends… This is Matthew [sic] 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!
He’s counting on me, so I’m counting on you!”
While Lynch was only expecting a couple of his friends to respond with some old books, he was astonished when his Facebook post went viral. People from around the world were seeing Lynch’s request to send Flores books. Readers in the U.K., Australia and India have sent waves of books to Flores’s home, and more are on the way.
Flores was in disbelief when random books started appearing at his doorstep. He told the Salt Lake City’s Deseret News on Sunday:
“They said, ‘These books are for you.’ I thought they were mistaken, but they were for me.”
Flores said he planned to read all of the books, but from the looks of it, that might take his entire life.
The Flores family said they are grateful for the support and told KLS news they plan to hold a book drive for other disadvantaged children.
For anyone trying to send their books to Matthew, his address is listed below.
c/o Sandy Post Office
8850 S 700 E
Sandy, UT 84070