RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) - A Virginia man went to extreme measures to show he was not happy about paying child support.
He dumped 80,000 pennies in front of his daughter’s home as his final payment. Avery Sanford, 18, took those pennies and turned his act of anger into a positive for families in need.
What looked like a landscaping trailer dropped the pile of pennies in front of a mailbox last month.
“When I was in the middle of class, my dad came by. He had rented a trailer,” Sanford said Tuesday.
The high school senior will spend the summer at home before venturing to Virginia Tech for her freshman year.
“He pulled up in front of our house, like turned the trailer on so it dumped out all the pennies in the street in front of our house,” she said. “And my mom walked outside while it was happening. She didn’t recognize them at first. And she asked, ‘What are you dumping on my lawn?’ And he said, ‘It’s your final child support payment.’ And that’s when she realized who it was.”
She had to use a snow shovel in the summer to scoop up the domestic drama.
“It’s not just her (my mother) that he’d be trying to embarrass,” Sanford said. “It’s also me, it’s also my sister. And it’s upsetting that he doesn’t really consider that before he did this.”
Once the pennies were picked up, Sanford and her mom decided to flip the script.
They donated his last child support payment - every penny - to Safe Harbor, a domestic abuse shelter.
“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,” Sanford said. “You can learn a lesson from it.”
Sanford said she hasn’t spoken to her father in years.
She says the pennies incident proves she made the tough but right decision to stay clear, and she has no interest in having a relationship with anyone who disrespects her mother.
“It is really hurtful and damaging to your kids when you do things like that,” the daughter said. “And it doesn’t matter how old your kids - it doesn’t matter if they’re a young child or an adult. The actions of your parents will always have some effect on you.”
Her mother filed a police report with Henrico County police.
Her father spoke in a phone interview, saying it was 18 years of frustration built up. His emotions got the best of him, and the last thing he wanted to do was to put a further wedge between him and his daughter.