A Virginia teen is utilizing the experience to make a good influence on the lives of others after her father put 80,000 pennies on her front lawn as his final child support payment.
When the pennies landed outside of Avery Sanford’s Richmond home last month, she was astonished and hurt, according to CBS station WTVR.
“It’s not just my mom he’s trying to embarrass,” she told the outlet of her father, who she says she has not spoken to in years. “It’s also me and my sister, and it’s upsetting that he didn’t consider that before he did this.”
Sanford, a senior at Deep Run High School, claims her father put the pennies on her lawn shortly after she turned 18, according to WTVR.
“When I was in the middle of class, my dad came by,” she explained to the outlet. “He had rented a trailer. He pulled up in front of the house and turned the trailer on so it dumped out all the pennies on the grass.”
Though Sanford was not present at the shocking moment, the teen stated that her mother was present at the time of the dumping. The incident was also captured on home security camera footage.
“My mom came out while it was happening and didn’t recognize him at first, and she asked, ‘What are you dumping on my lawn?'” Sanford recalled to the outlet. “And he said, ‘It’s your final child support payment,’ and that’s when she realized who it was.”
Despite being hurt by her father’s actions, Sanford told the outlet that she wanted to turn a bad situation into a positive one.
She and her mother eventually decided to donate the 80,000 pennies to Safe Harbor, a shelter for people who have been victims of domestic violence, sexual violence, or human trafficking.
“Turning around and donating that money to moms and children in need, I feel like that really turns this situation into a positive one,” she explained to WTVR. “You can learn a lesson from it.”
According to the department, Sanford’s mother filed a report with Henrico County Police after the incident on May 21.
“Henrico Police documented the incident,” says Lt. Matthew Pecka, “however no charges were filed.”
Sanford’s father – whose identity has not been revealed – claimed his actions “were the result of 18 years of built-up frustration” in a phone conversation with WTVR on Tuesday.
During the incident, he said 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,” according to WTVR.
Sanford told WTVR that she has no interest in forging a relationship with her father as she continues to process everything.
“It’s really hurtful and damaging to your kids when you do things like that,” Sanford told WTVR. “It doesn’t matter if they’re young or an adult; the actions of your parents will always have some effect on you.”