Sammy Nickalls
Updated Jul 29, 2015 @ 7:16 am

Getting mail is always an exciting feeling, but when it turns out that our mailbox is full of junk mail, we toss it out, often without even bothering to open it. But for one boy in Utah junk mail is a gift—and the reason is absolutely heartbreaking.

When Ron Lynch was delivering mail for the Sandy Post Office in Utah, he saw a 12-year-old boy standing outside, reading junk mail as if it were a fascinating book. “A young man was standing here reading junk mail,” Ron told ABC 13. “[He] asked me if I had any extra.”

The boy, Mathew Flores, explained to Ron that he adores to read, but he doesn’t have any material, so he makes do with junk mail. When Lynch asked him why he doesn’t go to the library, Mathew explained that that his family can’t afford the bus pass, let alone books. “I just usually read the newspapers,” Mathew explained to ABC 13.

Ron was totally touched by Mathew’s plight, and he decided that he wanted to help. “You know, I started reading at a very, very early age,” Ron explained to ABC 13. “My mother instilled reading books in me. . . at 12 years old, [Mathew] didn’t want electronics. He didn’t want to sit in front of the TV playing games all day. This kid just wanted to read.”

So Ron decided to take to Facebook to explain the situation by posting a picture of Mathew grinning adorably at the camera. “This is Matthew Flores,” Ron wrote in the caption. “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.”

Ron implored his friends to help out and share his story. “. . . 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 then requested that his friends send Mathew books. “He’s counting on me, so I’m counting on you,” Ron ended the post. He expected several of his friends to pitch in. “You know, 10, 20, 30 of my friend’s might give him some books,” he explained to ABC 13. “He might end up with 50 or 60 books.”

What he didn’t expect was for the post to go viral. It’s been shared over 8,000 times by people all over the world. “It’s gone from there,” Ron explained to ABC 13. “I’ve heard from the UK, from Australia, from India.”

People have traveled to Mathew’s house to hand-deliver books, totally taking Mathew by surprise.

The grand total: over 350 books and counting, though Ron predicts that he will be getting thousands more after the story has spread across the Internet (and it’s spreading like crazy). Mathew has HUGE plans for his new personal library. He wants to read every single book, and also loan them out to other kids. “It’s super fun and it’s interesting,” he said. “Plus it gets you smarter. . . I’m just super happy.”

This story warms our hearts. Having a passion for reading is so, so important as a kid, and we are overjoyed that Mathew is able to have the library of his dreams thanks to Ron’s generosity. Happy reading, Mathew!

(Images via Facebook)