Father Dumps 80,000 Pennies on Ex-Wife’s Lawn for Child Support, Mother and Daughter Get Sweet Revenge
In a dramatic public display, an estranged father from Virginia callously dumped 80,000 pennies onto his ex-wife’s front lawn. No, this man had not been collecting pennies as a fun hobby, but rather saving up for his “final child support payment.” The man’s daughter, Avery Sanford, had recently turned 18 years old, meaning he was no longer required to financially provide for her.
Instead of being mature and respectful to his former partner and child, he chose to make a spectacle by renting a trailer to haul $800 worth of pennies and dump them on their property. While the man thought he had won with his spiteful gesture, the mother and daughter duo miraculously found a way to turn a negative into a positive.
Child Support Overview
Child support is a series of ongoing payments that one parent makes to the other as a means to provide for the child or children that they produced together.
Regardless of if a parent is present in their child’s life, they are still obligated to take care of their offspring by providing for them financially. Child support payments are typically ongoing until the child turns 18, and sometimes they can continue for longer. In this case, the man sought to get the last laugh by making his final child support payment in a malicious manner.
Looking On in Bewilderment
Avery Sanford revealed that her father rented a landscaping trailer and filled it with 80,000 pennies. He then pulled up to her family’s home in Richmond, Virginia, to dump the change in a pile on the property.
While Sanford wasn’t home at the time this transpired, she said that her mother, Raven Sickal, didn’t even recognize the estranged man at first and was quite confused by his behavior. “He pulled up in front of the house and turned the trailer on so it dumped out all the pennies on the grass and my mom came out and was like, ‘What are you dumping in my yard?’” said Sanford.
His Malicious Actions Cut Deep
It wasn’t until the man uttered, “It’s your final child support payment,” that she realized what was happening.
Suddenly, everything started to make sense for Sanford’s mom. “That’s when she realized who it was,” she said. The teenager would be hurt by her father’s cruel gesture and her mother admitted that his intention was to humiliate her entire family. “It’s not just her that he’d be trying to embarrass. 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 Mother-Daughter Duo Has an Amazing Idea
Once she returned home from school, Sandford was appalled to see how many pennies her father had dumped onto her lawn.
She helped her mom shovel the overflowing coins out of the street and her mom told the police what had transpired. Determined not to let the man bring them down, Sanford and Sickal conjured up a plan to turn the bad experience into something uplifting.
Paying the Gesture Forward
The pair donated every single cent to Safe Harbor, an organization that helps women and children who have been victims of domestic abuse.
Safe Harbor aims to “support those who are experiencing or have experienced domestic violence, sexual violence, or human trafficking.” Sanford revealed that it felt empowering to give the money to a worthy cause, saying, “Turning around and donating that money to moms and children in need, I feel like that just really turns the situation into a positive one. You can learn a lesson from it.”
Inspiring Generosity in Others
Cathy Easter, executive director of Safe Harbor, commended Sanford and Sickal for putting others before themselves.
“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 said. Their kind donation also inspired others to give money to Safe Harbor. Since word spread about their story, the organization has received an uptick in donations. So far, Safe Harbor has received thousands of dollars in contributions.
An Irreparable Father-Daughter Relationship
Sanford said that her father’s behavior solidified her decision to keep him out of her life for good. She has already not spoken to him in several years, but she now has zero interest in reconnecting with him after he showed a blatant lack of respect for her and her mom.
The teen proved to be the bigger person by understanding how a parent’s behavior can impact their children at any age. “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,” she said.
The Father Seemingly Embarrassed by His Cruel Gesture
Since news of his penny-pinching antics has gone viral, Sandford’s father has spoken out about his poor decision to dump 800,000 pennies on his ex-wife’s lawn.
He claimed that he let his “frustration” get the best of him and admitted that he made a mistake in the heat of the moment. The man insisted that “the last thing he wanted to do” was drive a bigger wedge between him and his estranged daughter, but the damage was already done.
Finding a Silver Lining, After All
Fortunately, this story does have a happy ending. Safe Harbor’s development director, Mary Maupai, revealed that the organization has been greatly benefiting from the national exposure thanks to Sandford sharing her story
“Our online donation page just blew up. And we’ve gotten over $47,000 worth of donations from locally, nationally, internationally—as far as England and beyond,” she said. “This will be one for the books for sure.”
Taking Pride in What Was Accomplished
Both Stanford and Sickal were elated after hearing that so many others had donated to the shelter.
“It made both of us very emotional,” she said, hardly able to believe that they could bring so much awareness to Safe Harbor. “This reach has been amazing and the thoughtfulness and kind gestures have been beyond anything we expected. We just wanted to turn this around and that’s exactly what we did.”
The Donations Keep Pouring In
While Sanford’s father attempted to inflict distress and embarrassment on his ex-wife, his crude actions actually empowered them to help others.
People continue to donate to Safe Harbor and frequently cite Sanford’s story as the catalyst for their generosity. This is an excellent example of overcoming an adverse situation and using it to improve the lives of others. The mom and daughter sent a clear message that they won’t be intimidated by the estranged man’s poor behavior.