SALYERSVILLE, Ky. (WSAZ) - The Salyersville boy who won over the hearts of hundreds of thousands this holiday season has died.
9-year-old Dalton Dingus had one wish, to collect Christmas cards, but that wish soon grew into a nationwide movement known as Cards for Dalton.
Volunteers began delivering hundreds of thousands of cards from all across the nation to his home.
On Christmas Eve alone he received nearly 200,000 cards and packages including those close to home.
“All of us got, I don't know how many cards we sent from the church,” said local Pastor, Phillip Puckett.
And for the small town of Salyersville, Kentucky, Dalton became a symbol of Christmas hope.
“The stories that you would read and who these cards were coming from, a lot of them were simple “get well” but a lot of them were from folks who had lost children with cystic fibrosis and children themselves with cystic fibrosis,” said volunteer Ritt Mortimer.
Saturday night, while in hospice care, Dalton lost his fight to Cystic Fibrosis, and a family and community mourn his loss.
“Somebody that young; it really affects you more than if it was someone older,” said Puckett.
A countless number of people will never forget the joy his one wish gave.
“I don't think, even with all the cards that little boy had and got to see come to his house every day, I don’t think he or anyone else could understand just what he has meant to a whole lot of people all around this world,” said Mortimer.
He was a child that spent his last days touching the lives of so many.
Dalton's funeral services will be held at the Magoffin County Funeral Home.
Visitation is scheduled for Monday night at 6 and all day Tuesday.
The funeral is scheduled for Wednesday at 1 p.m.
Several close friends and family have reported on Facebook that Salyersville boy, Dalton Dingus has died.
Dalton broke the Guinness World Record by receiving nearly a million Christmas cards.
Dalton had stage four cystic fibrosis. He was nine years old.
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Postal workers in Magoffin County, Ky. created a giant post card and hand-delivered it to Dalton Dingus.
Dingus has recently collected about 100,000 Christmas cards. He and his family set the original goal at 10,000 cards -- but the outpouring from the community filled the Dingus' home with Christmas cheer.
The post card delivered by the postal workers is 4 feet tall and 8 feet long. It weighs 46 pounds and officials think it could be the largest card ever.
Postal workers said they were honored to make the card.
“Every once in a while we need to remember that we are kind, we are the human race, we are loving, and we provide the miracle we are the miracle and Dalton's going to live forever through us,” said Mark Wright with the Mt. Sterling Post Office.
Postal workers said they paid $90 for the card's postage fee.
Dalton Dingus is just nine-years-old. He was admitted to the hospital in October, and doctors were not optimistic. Family and friends decided he would love to get Christmas cards showing support, and his mom says the power of social media has helped them break a world record.
Everywhere you look in the Dingus home you see Christmas cards, all addressed to Dalton.
"When he was released in November and come home a neighbor decided to start a thing on Facebook called 'Cards for Dalton' to show him that people still supported him and loved him," said Jessica.
Before they knew it cards were coming from everywhere.
"South Africa, Guatemala, Germany, Europe, everywhere. He's got one from almost every continent," said Jessica.
Visitors came too, including a special one from the North Pole. Santa Claus showed up Thursday with presents -- and yes -- cards.
Dalton's mom says it's a kind of support she never expected.
"He's excited every morning when he gets up to see how much he's got, to see the presents he's got or how many cards he's got," said Jessica.
At first they had a goal of 10,000 cards, but that quickly changed as the cards came pouring in.
"20 to 25,000 cards all today," said Jessica.
"Just thank you. Thank you for your support, for showing him love," said Jessica.
Dalton's mom says the total is now closing in on 60,000 cards. They have set a new goal of 100,000. She says a final count will be done on Christmas Day.
If you would like to send Dalton a Christmas card, you can mail it to: Dalton Dingus
HC 62 Box 1249
Salyersville, Ky 41465