Avery Sanford donates father’s 80,000 pennies in little one assist to home abuse heart
Devastated by the portrayal of her father, Sanford, 18, her mother and several friends collected the tens of thousands of pennies and wondered what to do next. Your Answer: Donate the $ 800 in coins to a domestic violence center.
Officials at Safe Harbor Shelter, a Richmond-based organization that provides services to survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking, confirmed the donation to the Washington Post Thursday.
“You were able to turn such a negative experience and what your daughter went through into a positive one,” Cathy Easter, managing director of Safe Harbor, told the Post. “You found a way to turn this around and not feel devastated.”
Since the local media first covered the story this week, the shelter has seen donations rise more than $ 5,000, with some people citing family as the reason for their gifts.
Efforts to reach Sanford and her mother were unsuccessful on Thursday. The mother and father were not publicly identified.
Home security footage received from The Post shows a man in an SUV pulling up to a house with a trailer attached to a vehicle on May 21. The man operated the trailer in such a way that he threw the pennies on the front yard and the sidewalk of the house before driving away, the video is shown.
“What are you dropping into my … yard?” That said Sanford’s mother on the video. The man replied, “It is your last child support.”
Henrico County Police Lt. Matt Pecka told the Post that an official responded to a “domestic incident” at around 2:30 pm last month in Glen Allen, Virginia, about 14 miles north of Richmond. When the officer arrived, the authorities found a large “[amount] Pennies on the street in front of the address, “said Sanford’s mother, her ex-husband was responsible for the dump.
“Henrico police have documented the incident, but no charges have been made,” Pecka said.
When she got home from school, Sanford couldn’t believe what she was seeing. “He’s not only trying to embarrass my mother, but me and my sister as well,” Sanford told WTVR. “It’s annoying that he didn’t think about that beforehand.”
Five days later, Mary Maupai received an email from a stranger in her inbox. Maupai, Safe Harbor’s development director, said Sanford’s mother, who was previously unaffiliated with the organization, explained what had happened, noting that May 21 was the deadline for her ex-husband’s final alimony of $ 825. The mother mentioned that Sanford was about to graduate from Deep Run High School and attend Virginia Tech, which should be an exciting time for her, Maupai told the Post.
“Instead, she had to witness this spectacle of her estranged father,” wrote the mother, according to an email the Post received.
Founded in 1998, Safe Harbor is one of the nationwide victim relief organizations whose access to federal funds has been drastically restricted in recent years.
When Sanford’s mother asked to donate the money to the center, Safe Harbor was grateful for the gift. But Easter and Maupai hadn’t expected what would happen next: a flood of donations, spurred on by the family’s campaign. Maupai found that gifts citing Sanford’s donation as a catalyst for donation ranged from $ 25 to $ 1,000.
“The fact that these gifts are arriving at this time is like a godsend,” Easter said. “I am very sorry the family went through this, but I am so grateful that they got in touch and decided to do so and share their story.”
As bizarre as it may be to dump so many pennies out of spite, it isn’t the only recent case of someone throwing tens of thousands of pennies in front of a house. When a Georgia man asked for his last paycheck after quitting his auto repair job, his ex-boss responded by leaving more than 91,000 pennies in his driveway in March.
Attempts to reach Sanford’s father were unsuccessful. In an interview with WTVR, the father said he was frustrated and did not want to worsen the situation between him and his daughter. Sanford told the news broadcaster that while her father’s decision was “really hurtful and harmful” to the family, she took pride in the fact that the money ended up going to a good cause.
“When I turn around and donate this money to needy mothers and children, I feel like this is really changing this situation in a positive way,” she said. “You can learn from it.”
Maupai hopes Sanford’s act will inspire others to donate to victim shelters. At Easter, she can’t remember a time in the history of the shelter when a harsh event turned into something more hopeful. “It really is such a beautiful story,” she said. “You can’t overemphasize the importance of being kind to one another.”
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