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Father Left 80,000 Pennies Worth of Child Support on Front Lawn. A Mom and Daughter Gave It to a Domestic Abuse Center.


A man dumped tens of thousands of pennies on his ex’s lawn, saying it was a final child support payment. The woman and her daughter turned the tables, donating the money to a domestic abuse center.

“I just turned 18,” said high school senior Avery Sanford in a WTVR report on Wednesday from Richmond, Virginia. “When I was in the middle of class, my dad came by. He had rented a trailer. He pulled up in front of our house, turned the trailer on so it dumped out all the pennies in the street in front of our house, and my mom walked outside while it was happening. She 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.”

The mother had to pick the pennies up with a snow shovel. Surveillance footage reportedly captured the incident and coin-ridden aftermath.

The father, who was not named in the article, reportedly admitted to dumping the coins. He attributed his actions to 18 years of frustration, saying that his emotions got the best of him, according to the local news outlet. The last thing he wanted was to create another wedge between him and his daughter, he said.

But Avery Sanford said that’s exactly what happened.

“It’s not just my mom he’s trying to embarrass,” she said. “It’s also me and my sister and it’s upsetting that he didn’t consider that before he did that.”

Sanford said she has not talked to her father in years.

Nonetheless, mother and daughter decided to flip the scenario to a positive one. They gave the money to a local domestic abuse center, Safe Harbor Shelter.

The organization’s executive director Cathy Easter confirmed the donation to The Washington Post.

“They were able to turn such a negative experience, and what her daughter witnessed, into a positive,” she said. “They found a way to turn this around and not feel devastated about it.”

And it was not just Sanford and her mother who donated. The organization said it got a bump in more than $5,000 of donations since the story about the family broke. Some donors cited the family as their reason for giving.

Henrico County police said that Sanford’s mother did report the penny dumping to them.

“Henrico police documented the incident, however no charges were filed,” Lt. Matt Pecka told the Post about the May incident.

[Screengrab via WTVR]

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