A Virginia teen is taking the higher road and has donated 80,000 pennies, which amounts to $800, to a local shelter after her estranged father dumped the change on her front lawn as his final child support payment.
Avery Sanford told WTVR that the May 21 incident, caught on home security footage, was embarrassing.
“It’s not just my mom he’s trying to embarrass, it’s also me and my sister and it’s upsetting that he didn’t consider that before he did that,” Sanford said.
By now you’ve seen the story of the Virginia dad who dumped 80,000 pennies outside his 18-year-old daughter’s home and told her mom it was his final child support payment.
— WTVR CBS 6 Richmond (@CBS6) June 11, 2021
The 18-year-old, a senior in high school and slated to attend Virginia Tech in the fall, says last month’s incident took place while she was in class, NBC 29 reports.
“He pulled up in front of the house and turned the trailer on so it dumped out all the pennies on the grass and my mom came out and was like, ‘What are you dumping in my yard?’ She didn’t know who it was until he shouted, ‘It’s your final child support payment,’” Sanford said.
The teen and her mom, however, decided to turn a negative situation into one that could benefit others. They recently donated the 80,000 pennies to Safe Harbor, a shelter located in Richmond that offers support to survivors of sexual and domestic violence and human trafficking.
“Turning around and donating that money to moms and children in need, like I feel like that just really turns the situation into a positive one,” Stanford said.
Sanford told WTVR that she hasn’t spoken to her father in years and believes this incident solidifies why she should continue to keep her distance.
Her father told the local affiliate station that his emotions got the best of him and the last thing he wanted to do was place an even bigger strain on his relationship with his daughter.
The teen says she has no interest in building a relationship with her father.
“It’s really hurtful and damaging to your kids when you do things like that,” she said. “It doesn’t matter if they’re young or an adult, the actions of your parents will always have some effect on you.”
On the day of the incident, Henrico County Police responded to reports of a “domestic-related incident” and noticed a “sustainable amount of pennies” on the teens’ lawn, the Charlotte Observer reports.
Stanford’s mom then informed the police that her ex-husband was responsible for the ordeal. She filed a police report but to date, no charges have been filed.