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14-year-old Lucas Hoelscher has spinal muscular atrophy, but one of his greatest joys is receiving mail.

Lucas Hoelscher, a 14-year-old from Springfield, Ohio, got 294 letters on Wednesday—a whole crate full of correspondence. While some might consider it an annoyance (after all, who wants to read another family Christmas letter about the funny thing the chinchillas did this year?), to Hoelscher it meant the world.

In fact if you want to send Hoelscher a letter about your chinchillas, you should.

According to the Springfield News Sun, Hoelscher is diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy type I, a disease that has rendered him unable to speak or move. He was first diagnosed when he was 10 months old, and his parents, Bill and Patty Hoelscher, were told he only had a few months to live. That turned out to be false, but his life has still been a struggle. Because he only has his visual skills, he communicates by moving his eyes or making sounds. But getting letters is something he truly appreciates.

“His day is so routine, (the mail) gives him something to look forward to,” Patty told the local newspaper.

Now his family is asking for people to send letters to the young man for the holidays. The related Facebook group, Letters for Lucas, had 1,500 members on Tuesday. After the Springfield News Sun story was published, it gained another 1,000. That’s where Patty posted a photo of Wednesday’s overflowing crate of mail.

“Today, 294 letters and some BEAUTIFUL gifts!” she wrote. “I truly love all the caring people in this world.”

If you want to send Hoelscher a letter (and come on, a stamp only costs 46 cents), address it to: 3092 Wyandot Drive, Springfield, Ohio 45502.

Photo via Mosman Library/Flickr

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