This Little Boy Was Reading Junk Mail Because He Couldn’t Afford Books, And The Internet’s Response Will Redeem Your Faith In Humanity
The Internet is often a pretty soul-crushing place that seems tailor-made to induce cynicism in even the most optimistic of us. But sometimes it bands together and does something nice, like sending hundreds of books to a little boy who has spent the summer reading junk mail because he didn’t have anything else to read.
According to ABC News, Mathew Flores is a 12-year-old boy in Utah who loves books, reading, and LEGO. Last week mail carrier Ron Lynch saw Flores just standing there reading some junk mail–the annoying ads and fliers that annoy the heck out of most of us. When Lynch asked why he was reading them, Flores said he liked to read and usually read the newspaper, but he’d already finished that and had moved onto just reading piles of ads. He asked if Lynch had any more junk mail that he could have, because he doesn’t have any books.
“I asked him about going to the library, and he said he couldn’t afford the bus pass,” Lynch said.
So Lynch posted a picture of Flores to Facebook (he says he did get Flores’ parents’ permission) and asked his friends to send any extra reading material the boy’s way care of the Sandy, Utah, post office. At first he thought Flores would get maybe 10 or 20 books, which is just about enough to keep a voracious reader set for the rest of the summer, but then he Internet fell in love with the kid, and now he has more books than most of us could read in years. At least one person mentioned having sent the complete Harry Potter series.
“I was given many books as a child, and it’s time to help someone else,” Lynch wrote. “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!”
Books have come all the way from Australia for Flores and his sister, Jasmine, since Lynch’s post went up last week. Flores says he can’t wait to read them all.
“It’s super fun and it’s interesting,” he said. “Plus it gets you smarter.”
Flores also says he’ll be sharing the books with other kids in his neighborhood, which is particularly great news because if Flores loves to read but couldn’t afford books or a bus pass to the library, there must be other kids in the exact same position. Now there will be books for them to share and trade.
“I don’t even know,” Flores said. “I’m just super happy.”
(Photo: Facebook/Ron Lynch)