Customer collects donations to help woman who lost $1,000 check in Walmart

Posted: Updated:
Tara Holycross, left, helped out Maxine Landes, right, after she lost her social security check at an Avondale Walmart. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Tara Holycross, left, helped out Maxine Landes, right, after she lost her social security check at an Avondale Walmart. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Landes had her $1,000 social security check with her at Walmart but lost it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Landes had her $1,000 social security check with her at Walmart but lost it. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Holycross put Landes' story out on social media and started collecting gift cards for her so she could buy new groceries. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Holycross put Landes' story out on social media and started collecting gift cards for her so she could buy new groceries. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Other strangers brought bags and bags of every grocery Landes needed, and then some. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Other strangers brought bags and bags of every grocery Landes needed, and then some. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
AVONDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

You could call them two peas in a pod. We’re talking about 89-year-old Maxine Landes and Tara Holycross.

But just last week the two were complete strangers.

“When I left, I couldn’t get her off my mind,” said Holycross.

Next to pictures of her children and late husband, Landes had her $1,000 social security check with her at Walmart, the only money she would get for the month.

“I went to pay, and my money was gone,” said Landes.

Holycross was behind her in line.

“She was sobbing and sobbing,” said Holycross.

They never found the check.

“I was just numb. I didn’t know which way I was going to go, but I knew the lord was going to take care of me,” said Landes.

And that brings us to now.

“Oh my goodness, $10? Bless her little heart,” said Landes.

Holycross put Landes' story out on social media and started collecting gift cards for her so she could buy new groceries.

“Walmart, Albertsons and Chick-fil-A,” said Landes, as she looked at her new cards.

Landes was all smiles until it got even better.

“You’re not going home yet. You’re stuck here!” said Holycross.

“I am?” asked Landes.

Other strangers brought bags and bags of every grocery Landes needed, and then some.

“And this has all kinds of meat in it for you. And a gallon of milk, too!” said one of the people donating.

“My goodness! My goodness! My goodness!” said Landes.

These kind strangers wanted to make sure she would be OK. And Landes was at a loss for words, after her own loss, unexpectedly brought her the best of friends.

“They’re wonderful people and I thank them from the bottom of my heart,” said Landes, with tears in her eyes.

If you’d like to donate to help Landes out you can go to this link.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Briana WhitneyBriana Whitney joined CBS 5/3TV in February 2018, and is no stranger to the sunshine and heat!

Click to learn more about Briana.

Briana Whitney

She’s from Northern California, but prior to coming to Phoenix, she reported at KIII-TV in Corpus Christi, TX for three years.

During her time in South Texas, she reported on several national stories. Some of the most memorable were the 2015 Wimberley floods, reporting for eight hours off the Gulf of Mexico during Hurricane Harvey in August of 2017, and reporting from the church shooting in Sutherland Springs in November of 2017.

Her general assignment reporting won her two Associated Press awards, six EMMY awards, and one Emmy nomination for a half-hour special she wrote, produced and hosted on the issue of child pornography.

Briana graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and during college had seven different internships at several news stations.

When she isn’t chasing breaking news or working on a feature story, Briana loves checking out the best restaurants in the Valley, and hiking or rollerblading around town. Briana is very happy to have made Arizona home!

Hide bio