Mother who lost kids in plane crash helping others

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by Carina Sonn

azfamily.com

Posted on December 22, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Updated Thursday, Dec 22 at 9:41 AM

CHANDLER, Ariz. -- A Valley woman who lost her three children in a horrific plane crash last month is giving back to other kids.

The crash claimed the life of Karen Perry's ex-husband, Shawn, and their three kids, Morgan, Luke and Logan, along with two other men.

Perry asked that attendees bring toys instead of flowers to the funeral and dozens were donated. All of them were brought to the annual W. Steven Martin Police Toy Drive, an annual event in its 25th year.

Police officers can pick two families and shop the large warehouse for gifts, which are wrapped and hand-delivered. Perry shopped for a few families, too.

"I get to see the little ones happy and smiling and the things that I'm going to miss about not having my children with me for Christmas," she said.

Recipients of the toys, like Tanya Lucero and her four kids, were grateful for the help. Even more so after discovering that Perry was involved this year.

"That's really sad and I feel bad and thank you," Lucero said. "Let her know we said thank you."

Perry said she wants to continue helping the toy drive and plans on spending Christmas doing something similar. Somehow in the middle of this unthinkable tragedy, when everything has been taken from her, Perry is choosing to give even more.

"That the love, the spirit, the meaning of Christmas lives on -- hopefully in all of us -- and it will continue to do so despite the tragedies that may come along the way," Perry said.

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