MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (WTXF) - 17-year-old Matt Hladczuk is doing a lot more than trick-or-treating this year.
The high school junior from La Salle College High School is going door to door collecting cash instead of candy to help children he will never meet.
Hladczuk is raising money to expand and stock a library in Tanzania with school books and computers.
Right now it is the size of a classroom with more shelf space than books to fill it.
“I’ve been so fortunate growing up with anything I ever wanted basically, and I know probably a lot of the kids over there want the same things. They probably are working really hard, and without the necessary materials they can’t achieve that. So I think it’s important to give everybody a chance,” said Hladczuk.
His inspiration is family friend Dr. Richard Mshomba who started the library two years ago.
“Most people cannot afford to get their kids text books and even if they did probably for one textbook, one subject,” said Mshomba.
The demand was at once overwhelming. Mshomba says on a busy night the children spill out the door reading and studying.
“It’s important to not just focus on yourself all the time to help other people,” said Hladczuk
And that is exactly what he did. Hladczuk went door to door, gave speeches at church, all while juggling his own education.
“The Swahili word for thank you or thank you very much is Asante Sana. Usually when you say it there’s nothing else you can add because that’s what you say to someone wonderful,” said Mshomba.