pennies
Source: YouTube/WTVR CBS 6

Teen donates 80,000 pennies to shelter after dad uses them as petty child support payment

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Jun. 17 2024, Published 6:09 p.m. ET

Being on the receiving end of pettiness from anyone is upsetting, but it's particularly painful when that kind of behavior comes from our own parent. There are a few ways to cope with it, one of the most common being the "low/no contact" approach, which establishes a helpful boundary.

This story involves something a little more…unique.

When Avery Sanford's father decided to make his final child support payment in one of the most disrespectful ways possible, she decided to transform it into a powerful act of good.

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The Virginia-based 18-year-old senior had been in class when her father arrived with a trailer filled 80,000 pennies, equivalent to $800, which he emptied onto her mother's lawn. Sanford’s mother, witnessing the scene, approached him only to hear, "It's your final child support payment," according to an interview with WTVR.

The impact of her father's actions was profound for Sanford. "It's not just my mom he's trying to embarrass, it's also me and my sister and it's upsetting that he didn't consider that before he did that," she shared.

Instead of letting the situation defeat them, Sanford and her mother decided to make the best out of it by donating the money to Safe Harbor, a local center supporting victims of domestic and sexual violence and human trafficking.

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Cathy Easter, executive director of Safe Harbor, praised Sanford's decision. "They were able to turn such a negative experience, and what her daughter witnessed, into a positive. They found a way to turn this around and not feel devastated about it," she told The Washington Post.

Since the story made headlines, Safe Harbor has seen a significant increase in donations, receiving nearly $5,000 from people inspired by Sanford's story.

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Sanford herself expressed hope that her action would inspire others. "Turning around and donating that money to moms and children in need, I feel like that really turns this situation into a positive. You can learn from it," she said. This experience has also reaffirmed her decision to distance herself from her father, whom she hadn't spoken to in years. She explained, "It's really hurtful and damaging to your kids when you do things like that. It doesn't matter if they're young or an adult, the actions of your parents will always have some effect on you."

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The incident was reported to the Henrico Police by Sanford's mother, who remains unidentified. When questioned about his actions, Sanford's father, who also remains unnamed, claimed that 18 years' worth of frustration had led to his poor decision. Despite his claim that he did not intend to worsen his relationship with his daughter, Sanford has made it clear that she has no interest in maintaining a relationship with someone who would disrespect her mother in such a way.

Sanford's story is a powerful reminder of how negative experiences are often hidden opportunities for positive action. By choosing to donate the money to Safe Harbor, Sanford not only helped those in need but also set an example of resilience and kindness.

If you feel moved by Sanford's story, consider supporting organizations like Safe Harbor that provide critical support to those experiencing domestic and sexual violence. Your contribution can help make a difference in the lives of those who need it most. Every penny counts!

This article was written with assistance from artificial intelligence. Megaphone creates content primarily driven by people but aims for full transparency in how our storytelling is produced. To learn more about our policy on artificial intelligence, click here.

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