A man paid his final child support payment to his ex by dumping 80,000 coins on her garden - but the woman turned the petty deed into a kind act when she scooped them all up and donated them to a shelter charity.

Avery Sanford, from Virginia, US, claims that her father pulled the stunt on her mother, only a few days after she had turned 18 - adding that it had an emotional impact on her.

She said that he turned up with a trailer full of coins and dumped them on the grass outside Avery's mother's house, who had no idea what was happening.

She came out and shouted at the man, who replied 'it's your final child support payment' before levelling the trailer and driving off again.

The pennies that were dumped in the garden
That's a lot of coins!

Sharing the story with local news outlet WTVR, Avery said: "I just turned 18. When I was in the middle of class, my dad came by. He had rented a trailer.

"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?'

"She didn't know who it was until he shouted, 'It's your final child support payment'."

Avery said that her father's actions had an impact on her and that she'd been struggling to understand why he had done it.

But her mother refused to let the situation get the better of her and scooped up the money and donated it to Safe Harbor, a charity that acts as a shelter for those in need.

They donated around £600 ($850) to the charity, but word of their kind donation spread and soon the group had received nearly £3,500 ($5,000) in donations.

Speaking to Huffington Post, Safe Harbour spokesperson Cathy Easter said: "It’s just incredible.

"A friend of theirs matched the exact amount and then other people started making donations in their honour.

"In the memo line, they’re saying they’re doing this in honour of Avery and her mom."

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