Meraz brings good karma to Thanksgiving families in Perry

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Tammy Nissen of Perry, left, happily receives a $100 gift card for Thanksgiving dinner from Juan "Karma" Meraz of Perry.

Krystyn Collins of Perry, right, happily receives a $100 gift card for Thanksgiving dinner from Juan “Karma” Meraz of Perry.

Local philanthropist Juan “Karma” Meraz of Perry brought some early Thanksgiving joy to 10 Perry families this week when he distributed 10 gift cards of $100 each, redeemable at a local grocery store.

Meraz brought good Thanksgiving karma to Des Moines-area families for about 10 years but has narrowed his focus to Perry in recent years.

“I used to do it in Des Moines all the time,” he said, “but people around here talk about it but won’t do it, so I said, ‘Why not? I’ll step in.’ That was maybe three or four years ago.”

Meraz said he also collected donations for children’s toys for about six years, “but two years ago I realized the kids all want iPads and PlayStations. All that technology is expensive, and I could only get so much in donations.”

The good karma will continue after Thanksgiving, when Meraz gives away a few Christmas trees to local families.

For more information or to make a donation, contact Meraz via his Facebook page.

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