Karen Perez, seated at left, was nominated by her aunt, Phyllis McIntire, seated at right, who described her niece as a caregiver and much more.


The recipient of this week's Ben's Bell is Karen Perez.

Perez was nominated by her aunt Phyllis McIntire, for her dedication to helping others.

For nearly six years, McIntire, who is 84, has lived with Perez, who helps her with everything from monitoring her medications, doing her laundry, and taking her to doctor appointments and social functions, McIntire wrote in her nomination letter.

"Even though caring for me has placed great demands on her time and energy, she has been available to help others who are incapacitated with errands, shopping and pet sitting," McIntire wrote.

The most important thing Perez has done for the community is helping create the Poverello House, a place that offers showers, meals, supplies and clothing to men in need, McIntire wrote.

Perez also serves as a eucharistic minister.

"Karen Perez is a woman whose thoughtful actions support many members of our community," McIntire wrote. "Despite the obligation she has accepted in caring for me, she continues to contribute to our community in many meaningful, selfless ways and with her gracious, generous nature and an unfailing sense of humor."

The project

Ben's Bells promote kindness and community. Each week a person who betters Tucson is "belled." Go to www.bensbells.org/BellingForm to submit a name. Go to www.bensbells.org or call 628-2829 for information. Recipients also are featured on Friday's Morning Blend on KGUN 9.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at vcruz@azstarnet.com or at 573-4224.