A special account with at Maria Sanchez's bank, Power Credit Union, has been opened and is already accepting donations.
Donations can be made two ways.
1. You can mail a check to the credit union. Be sure to indicate that it is for the Maria Sanchez donation account. The credit union will then mail you back a receipt.
2. You can drop of a donation in person.
Power Credit Union has four southern Colorado locations. They are:
1615 E. Evans Ave.
Pueblo, CO 81004
1083 25th Lane
Pueblo, CO 81006
Pueblo West Branch
120 S. Crescent Dr.
Pueblo West, CO 81007
Canon City Branch
3165 E. US Highway 50
Canon City, CO 81212
When told of the number of people who had inquired about helping her, Maria was touched deeply. She hopes to be able to use any donations made to pay her rent first, then to buy groceries and pay other utilities.
Her daughter-in-law, Patricia Espinoza, says since Maria has received word of people's desire to reach out to her, Maria's spirits have been lifted.
Maria, and her family, would like to thank our viewers for all of their kindness.
She was robbed less than five feet from her home, now 72-year-old Maria Sanchez is worried that home may be in jeopardy.
Sanchez was the victim of a strong-arm robbery Tuesday afternoon in Pueblo. She had just returned home from running errands, including a trip to the bank to cash the monthly check she uses to pay her bills. When she was robbed, she was carrying all of her money in her purse. Sanchez says she lost more than $1,500 in cash and checks.
It happened quickly, says Sanchez. As she was walking toward the door, she saw someone coming toward her. Normally, her son or daughter-in-law meet her and help her into the home because of her physical limitations. She started to talk to the thief as they came closer, but didn't realize it was not her son until it was too late.
That's when the thief grabbed her purse and took off. She tried to follow him, but couldn't keep up with the younger man. She did notice what he was wearing and told the police he was hispanic with short hair, black pants and a red shirt.
Sanchez's daughter-in-law is thankful Maria wasn't hurt, and angry this happened so close to her home. "She's worked hard her whole life. That's the meaning of life is it not? You work hard and you reap the rewards later," says Patricia Espinoza.
Sanchez is angry too. "I want my money back, and put his [backside] away for taking it from the elderly instead of working for it," says Sanchez.
Pueblo police called in a state patrol K-9 to search the area. However, too much foot traffic in the area made tracking the thief unsuccessful. They're still searching for the thief, and are asking the community for tips. Tips can be called into Crime Stoppers anonymously at 542-STOP.
Even though her son is staying with her, there is little likelihood he will be able to keep his mother afloat. "My son lives here but he can't help. He's dying of cancer," laments Sanchez. Maria has seen three of her sons pass away, this will be the second that dies from brain cancer.
Another of her sons was in the military, a marine. He died in service of his country. A sticker on her door says she donates to a disabled veterans charity organization.