Twelve-year-old Matthew Flores has something many young bookworms only dream about -- a library of his own.
But that wasn’t always the case. Unable to buy books or a bus pass to the library, Matthew asked his mailman for junk mail to read back in July. His simple request prompted the mail carrier to post on Facebook asking for book donations -- that post went viral and resulted in thousands of donations from all over the world. Now, Matthew is paying that generosity forward, by donating about 3,500 of the books to others in need, KSL reported.
"The response is just incredible and it's very heartwarming to see," Greg Near, public relations coordinator for the Salt Lake County Library, told the news outlet.
The Utah mailman, Ron Lynch, first posted on Facebook in July after learning that advertisements were the only reading resources available to the 12-year-old.
"He told me his wish is to have books to read,” Lynch wrote. “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!"
Hundreds of packages arrived on Matthew’s doorstep, from as far as India and Australia, and before long, books were piled high in his family’s home.
"I'm stunned and humbled by what happened," Lynch told The Huffington Post. "I deserve little credit."
Matthew is donating thousands of the books, which are for readers of all ages, to local libraries, as well as a Salt Lake area shelter, jail and hospital, according to KSL. Some of the books reached Byington Library, at Salt Lake’s South Main Clinic, which provides low-income families with health care.
"We want to get books in their homes so their kids can connect with books young and get that love of reading,” library assistant, Stephanie Anderson, told the news outlet. “This library wouldn't be possible without help from all of the people who donated to us.”
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