RICHMOND, Virginia – A family in Richmond received a shocking delivery last month when 80,000 cents were thrown on their lawns. Now they are using the money to help those in need.
“I just turned 18. When I was in the middle of class my dad came over. He had rented a trailer,” said Avery Sanford, a high school student from Deep Run High School. “He stopped in front of the house and turned on the trailer to throw all the pennies on the grass and my mom came out and said, ‘What are you throwing in my yard? She didn’t know who it was until he shouted, “This is your last child support.”
The act had an impact on the teenager.
“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 think about it before doing this,” Sanford said.
With the pennies collected, Sanford and his mother decided to turn a bad situation into a positive one.
Every penny from Avery’s last child support payment will go to Safe Harbor, a domestic violence center.
“By returning and giving this money to mothers and children in need, I feel like it really turns this situation into a positive. You can learn from it,” Avery said.
Avery hasn’t spoken to his father in years.
She said the penny incident proved to her that she made the difficult but fair decision to stay away. She said she had no interest in having a relationship with someone who disrespected her mother.
“It’s really hurtful and damaging to your kids when you do things like that. It doesn’t matter whether they’re young or adults, your parents’ actions will always have an effect on you,” Avery said.
Avery’s mother said she reported the incident to Henrico police.
Contacted by phone on Tuesday, Avery’s father said his actions were the result of 18 years of accumulated frustration and that his emotions had gotten the better of him. He said the last thing he wanted to do was put an extra wedge between himself and his daughter.