(NEW YORK) — A Tennessee boy used his allowance money and scoured clearance sales to buy books to donate to a local library in hopes the books would “click” with inmates and help them turn their lives around.
Tyler Fugett, 9, appeared unannounced at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office last week with more than 100 books he wanted to donate to the local jail.
The Clarksville, Tenn., fifth-grader had asked his mom, Rebecca Corkren, if she would take him to sales at local book stores so he could use his allowance money to purchase books for inmates to read.
“He said, ‘When I’m thinking bad thoughts, I like to read, so I want to collect books for them,’” Corkren told ABC News, adding that Tyler had a family member who spent time in jail.
Tyler told his mom he wanted to help the inmates not be bored while behind bars and help them find a new way forward.
“He said, ‘If they read, they don’t have time to think about doing bad things when they come out. Maybe they’ll find one thing in there that would make them click to be better people.’”
The sheriff’s office accepted the donation with open arms.
“Our jail library has no budget and there’s no taxpayer money that goes towards it,” said Sandra Brandon, public information officer for the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office. “We rely 100 percent on donations so when we get anything we’re just very excited.”
Tyler and his mom are returning to the sheriff’s office today with another box of donated books. Corkren said Tyler is also now collecting toiletry items to donate to inmates and other people in need.
“He has my house looking like a store and I’m like, ‘Whatever floats your boat, son,’ because he’s doing the right thing,” Corkren said. “We live penny to penny and for him to do this, it’s a blessing to see.
“I’ve never seen a child with a heart like his.”
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