RICHMOND, Va. - Avery Sanford knew what to do when her father dumped 80,000 pennies worth of child support in her mother’s front yard — she donated the money to a local domestic abuse shelter.
It happened last month in Henrico County, Virginia. Surveillance video caught the father pulling up in his vehicle with a trailer hitched to the rear. He lifted the trailer, dumping the pennies on the curb and on the lawn.
The video also captured the conversation.
"What are you dropping in my yard?" Sanford’s mother asked.
"It’s the last child support payment," the father responded, before driving off.
Henrico County police said they responded to the incident after the mother called 911.
"Henrico Police documented the incident, however no charges were filed," Lieutenant Matthew Pecka said in a statement to FOX Television Stations.
"It is really hurtful and damaging to your kids when you do things like that. And it doesn't matter how old your kids. It doesn't matter if they're a young child or an adult," Sanford, 18, told WTVR. "The actions of your parents will always have some effect on you."
"It’s not just her [my mother] that he’d be trying to embarrass," she continued. "It’s also me, it’s also my sister. And it’s upsetting that he doesn't really consider that before he did this."
The father later told WTVR that he regretted his decision and that his emotions got the best of him. Sanford told the outlet she hasn’t spoken to her father in years.
But the teenager didn’t want the story to end with her father’s vengeful act. She donated the pennies, totaling $800, to Safe Harbor, a local domestic abuse shelter.
"The fact that they turned around such a spiteful act into something so beautiful just says a lot about the relationship between and mother and daughter," Safe Harbor Executive Director Cathy Easter told FOX Television Stations Monday.
"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 added. "You can learn a lesson from it."
It’s not the first time a penny-dump has been used to make a payment.
According to FOX 5 Atlanta, Andreas Flaten said he left his job at A OK Walker Autoworks in November 2020. He said he was supposed to collect his final paycheck, but was having difficulty getting to it. His final paycheck later arrived in oil-covered pennies, totaling $915.
FOX 5 spoke with the owner of the business over the phone. He said he paid Flaten in U.S. currency and did not want to be a part of FOX 5’s story.
This story was reported from Los Angeles.