Thanks to a viral Facebook post and the kindness of strangers, Mathew Flores is going from only being able to afford to read newspapers and advertisements to getting his own collection of potentially thousands of books.
Ron Lynch, a mailman in Utah, was on his normal route delivering mail when he spotted Flores pouring over advertisements.
The 12-year-old boy asked Lynch if he could have some of the junk mail before Lynch suggested he go to a library to read some actual books instead.
Lynch told ABC7 Eyewitness News,
I asked him about going to the library, and he said he couldn't afford the bus pass.
Flores' heartbreaking answer prompted Ron to post a plea to Facebook asking for book donations to help Mathew get more reading material.
The post went viral, and Mathew went from not having any books to read at all to not knowing where to fit his new personal library.
People have been sending boxes upon boxes of books to Flores, with prospective donors reaching out to Lynch from as far away as the UK, Australia and even India.
Lynch told Eyewitness News he originally didn't think the plea would have that big of a response.
You know, 10, 20, 30 of my friends might give him some books. He might end up with 50 or 60 books.
Mathew says when people started to drop the books off at his house, he didn't believe they were for him.
After only a few days, Mathew estimated around 350 books had been donated, with Lynch anticipating that number easily increasing to a few thousand in the future.
Mathew says he plans on sharing the books with other kids.
You know, most of the time the Internet makes you feel like the world is full of awful people, but then a story like this comes up and makes you remember the Web can actually be a pretty OK place sometimes.
Good job on this one, Internet.