Some people go out of their way to help others on a daily basis, and the man in this story is one of those people. No, he doesn’t stand in line to help others get the food they need to survive. He doesn’t take his own money to buy clothes for the homeless either. But he has spent years of his life helping people obtain one of the most important skills that they need in their lives. And thanks to his dedication, his entire community is thriving because of it.Due to the fact that the communities are so poor, the young people of Colombia tend to have a difficult time getting the education that they need to have successful lives. One garbageman realized what was happening, so he decided to do something about it.
There, mixed in with a pile of trash, was a copy of Leo Tolstoy’s book, Anna Karenina. Gutiérrez immediately knew how valuable the book was, so instead of letting it get destroyed by the trash compactor, Gutiérrez brought it home with him.
Throughout the years, Gutiérrez found even more books while he worked for the garbage company. And eventually, Gutiérrez didn’t just have a few dozen books taking up space in his home, his collection had taken over the first floor of his home.
Soon enough, they were knocking on his door to ask if they could borrow some of his books. Without thinking twice, Gutiérrez told his neighbors that they were more than welcome to borrow any of the books that he had.
Unfortunately, because of the poverty issue in Bogota, there was an overwhelming number of illiterate men, women, and children. Gutiérrez knew that he was helping the people in his community better their situations by helping them learn how to read.
Now, he prides himself on his extensive collection, which includes everything from classics to romance novels, books for children, and textbooks. And thanks to his selfless desire to help those in his community, Gutiérrez has earned himself a title worth bragging about.
Thanks to his undeniably selfless efforts, 50,000 books have been distributed throughout his city, and to other community libraries including schools in rural areas that aren’t able to afford their own books for the schoolchildren.
Gutiérrez has done everything in his power to help the children in his own community learn how to read. Gutiérrez understands that helping them gain the ability to read will only help them move up in their place in the world.
“The most valuable inheritance we can leave our children is education. The day I fill Colombia with books, I’ll feel like Odysseus when he rescued Penelope and saved Ithaca from the war,” said Gutiérrez in an interview with the Christian Science Monitor.
During the interview with the Christian Science Monitor, Gutiérrez explained that he’s now putting his energy into funding the construction of a library for the community outside of his home. He wants to ensure that his work will continue long after he has passes on from this world.
Thanks to his neverending determination to provide people with access to reading materials, the people in his community will be able to strive for success. Books truly are important, and honestly, you never know who could have changed the world if they had only learned how to read!