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Marblehead extends a helping hand to Lynn

Fiorella and Araceli Giraldo receive new backpacks from state Rep. Lori Ehrlich and Deb Ansourlian, executive director of Girl’s Inc. (Owen O'Rourke)

LYNN — Nearly three dozen girls at Girls Inc. of Lynn took home backpacks, pens, and pencils to get them ready for a new school year.

State Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead) handed out the bags and school supplies to the girls who needed them most Monday afternoon.

Ehrlich, who pushed a shopping cart full of supplies through the front door of the yellow building on the hill, said she’s a big supporter of the organization, and finds the work Girls Inc. is doing to be extremely important.

“It’s important to go and have a place and just be girls,” said Ehrlich. “Being a girl myself, I’m aware of how girls’ voices aren’t always heard. I come in and just talk to them about what I do sometime.”

National Foundation for Women Legislators, a nonprofit organization based in Washington D.C. that formed to assist women legislators with public opinion and legislative issues, partnered with Office Depot to donate 18 drawstring backpacks for Ehrlich to hand out.

Jocelyn Cook, executive director of SPUR, a Marblehead-based, volunteer-led organization that was established to inspire good deeds, heard about the project and donated an additional 18 backpacks and school supplies to fill all 32 bags.

The materials were left over from a major project SPUR recently completed, in which more than 630 filled backpacks were given to children in Lynn, Swampscott, Marblehead, and Salem.

At Girls Inc., children were chosen on a need-basis by parents income, said Executive Director Deb Ansourlian.

“(Ehrlich’s) a great role model,” said Ansourlian. “Having women in government visit is always a great thing. This is our first donation for school supplies this year. It really helps the families. It can be a hectic and stressful time of year and this gives them a head start.”

Sponsors of the project purchased a backpack and supplies for a K through 2nd grader for $54, a backpack and supplies for a 3rd through 5th grader for $66, a backpack and supplies for a 6th through 12th grader for $74.08 or only a backpack for $33.

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