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Avery Sanford said she didn’t know what to think when she saw a landscaping trailer pull up outside her home in Virginia last month.
A few moments later, more than 80,000 cents poured into the street and onto his lawn.
“My mom came out and said, ‘What are you throwing in my garden?’ Sanford, 18, told WTVR of her father’s surprise visit, to whom she said she hadn’t spoken in years. ‘he yells:’ This is your last child support. ‘ “
Despite the “embarrassing” display, the teenager and her mother cleaned the rooms and decided that every penny would go to a good cause. Her father’s final payment, Sanford said, will now benefit the women and children who have survived domestic violence.
Safe Harbor Shelter, located in Richmond, offers support for those who have experienced domestic violence, sexual abuse, human trafficking and other trauma, according to the shelter’s website. Association officials confirmed Sanford’s gift to the Washington Post.
“They were able to turn such a negative experience, and what her daughter witnessed, into a positive one,” Cathy Easter, executive director of Safe Harbor, told the newspaper Thursday. “They found a way to turn the tide and not feel devastated about it.”
A spokesman for the Henry County Police Department confirmed that officers responded to reports of a “domestic incident” at the Sanfords’ home on May 21 and noted that a “lasting amount of pennies” had been thrown outside. It was then that the teenager’s mother informed the police that her ex-husband had passed by.
“Henry Police documented the incident, but no charges were laid,” Lt. Matthew Pecka told McClatchy News in a statement.
Sanford said the incident hurt and embarrassed her, but she was glad she was able to help someone else.
“Turn around and give this money to moms and kids in need, like I feel like it really turns the situation into a positive one,” she told WTVR. “You can learn a lesson from that. “
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