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Oak Forest girl helps the hungry with holiday food drive

Marley Majetic 15 is pictured her home Oak Forest Monday October 22 2012. For past five years she has been

Marley Majetic, 15, is pictured at her home in Oak Forest Monday, October 22, 2012. For the past five years, she has been collecting food for the needy during the holiday season. This year's food drive starts on November 1 with the goal of collecting 1800 pounds of food. | Brett Roseman~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: December 10, 2012 6:02AM



A trip to San Francisco a few years ago changed Marley Majetic’s life and has her trying to help improve the lives of others.

“That’s where it all started. I saw the real world, where not everything is perfect,” said Majetic, 15, a freshman at Oak Forest High School.

Majetic had her first encounter with hungry, homeless people when her family took a vacation to San Francisco. She was so moved by what she saw that she decided the next day to help, said her mother, Lisa Hines.

“The hotel we stayed at had snacks out all week, a giant bowl of apples and oranges. After that first day, as we were heading out for sightseeing, Marley asked if she could bring some of the fruit to the poor people. I said, ‘Sure, of course.’ She passed out three or four pieces of fruit to the homeless, and that’s how it all started,” Hines said.

Now, Majetic runs The Marley Project, which has collected food for the needy since 2008.

A holiday food drive runs through Dec. 15. Nonperishable food will be collected at Oak Forest City Hall, 15440 S. Central Ave.; Tinley Park Community Church, 7939 W. 167th St.; and two Oak Forest Park District sites (15601 S. Central Ave., and 4412 Henry St.). The Oak Forest Youth Commission also is sponsoring the food drive.

Majetic hopes to collect 1,800 pounds of food — about 400 more than last year — which will be delivered to organizations such as Together We Cope for distribution to the needy.

After her unforgettable visit to San Francisco, Majetic also decided she no longer needed birthday or Christmas gifts.

“My family would give me money, and I’d go to Sam’s Club with my grandpa and we’d buy large amounts of food to donate,” she said.

At the beginning of this school year, she organized a drive to get peanut butter and jelly for needy families so kids would not go without lunch at school.

“I have a house and clothes and food and everything,” Majetic said. “I pretty much have all the essentials, and there are people freezing to death in the world and they don’t even have one meal a day. I had to start somewhere.”

Her mother remains impressed.

“She’s remarkable. She’s a very caring and compassionate child and she always has been. And it keeps going on and on,” Hines said.

For more information or to donate food, e-mail themarleyproject@hotmail.com.



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