A Virginia man reached the moment that many a single and/or absentee father can’t wait to achieve: the final child support payment of their life. Avery Sanford just witnessed that from her father, as she just turned 18 and he legally does not have to fulfill child support payments anymore. It was his choice of celebration in the matter that has the news talking, and the young lady feeling disappointed.
Sanford’s story is not unlike many other young children who have spent their lives without a father in their household. She is a recent Deep Run High School senior with high hopes who has achieved everything she’s needed to sans her father, yet instead of celebrating a milestone in the young lady’s life, his actions impacted her in a negative way. You see, Sanford and her father (who remains unnamed in reports) have had an estranged relationship and haven’t contacted one another through the years, she tells WTVR-TV.
Sanford recalled a time last month to reporters where her father, seemingly in his feelings, unconventionally dumped his final child support payment in front of the home that she shares with her mother and sister. Her father hand-delivered $800 to their house, but in the form of 80,000 pennies. You read that right. Petty. “When I was in the middle of class, my dad came by,” Avery told WTVR reporters. “He had rented a trailer. He pulled up in front of our house, turned the trailer on so it dumped out all the pennies in the street in front of our house, and my mom walked outside while it was happening.”
Sanford tells the news outlet that her shocked mother proceeded to question her father about what exactly he was doing. “‘What are you dumping in my yard?’” Sanford explains. “She didn’t know who it was until he shouted, ‘It’s your final child support payment.’ And that’s when she realized who it was.” Upon seeing the actions of Sanford’s father, her mother proceeded to alert the Henrico Police Department. The department confirmed to the Washington Post that they have “documented the incident. However, no charges were filed,” they shared.
WTVR reporters revealed that they reached out to Sanford’s father for comment, who shared that his intention was not to create more distance between himself and his daughter with his actions. The reasoning behind his actions was ” 18 years of built-up frustration,” causing him to act out irrationally. Whether or not he thought it would not affect his relationship with Sanford, the reality is that she was absolutely embarrassed. “It’s not just my mom he’s trying to embarrass,” Sanford stated, “it’s also me and my sister. And it is upsetting that he did not consider that before he did this.”
She continued, “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.” Instead of reeling in the negative emotions, Avery and her mother decided to take the high road and donate the money to a local domestic abuse facility, the Safe Harbor Shelter, as confirmed by their director Cathy Easter to the Washington Post. Their donation influenced other donors to contribute, bringing the grand total of donations to oer $5,000.
“They were able to turn such a negative experience, and what her daughter witnessed, into a positive,” said Easter to the Post. “They found a way to turn this around and not feel devastated about it.” Avery also shared her joy for the donation. Speaking on her decision, she says, “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.”