May 19, 2022

A Virginia teen was shocked when her father dumped 80,000 pennies on her front lawn as his final child support payment uses the incident to help others.

Avery Sanford, a senior at Deep Run High School, told CBS affiliate WTVR that she was taken aback and hurt when the pennies arrived outside her home shortly after turning 18.

“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.”

“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 during the shocking moment, the teen stated that her mother was present during the dumping.

“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? 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, she wanted to turn the negative moment into something positive.

She and her mother chose to donate the 80,000 pennies to Safe Harbor, a shelter for victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, and 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.”

Sanford’s father – whose identity has not been revealed publicly – claimed in a phone call with WTVR on Tuesday that his actions “were the result of 18 years of built-up frustration.” Adding that his “emotions got the better of him” during the incident and that “the last thing he wanted to do was to drive a further wedge between him and his daughter.”