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Bertie County schedules ‘Shred-A-Thon’

POWELLSVILLE – Your private information can remain that way thanks to a special one-day program coming to Bertie County.

The Local Government Federal Credit Union of Windsor is teaming up with the county for a free chance to help prevent identity theft.

At the regular monthly evening meeting of the county’s Board of Commissioners here on Feb. 19, County Planning Director Traci White and Bertie’s Nuisance Abatement Officer Barry Anderson jointly announced a ‘Shred-A-Thon’.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 21 in the parking lot of the Bertie County Department of Social Services Building on Jasper Bazemore Avenue located just beyond Vidant Bertie Hospital on King Street in Windsor.

“County Manager (Scott) Sauer called me into his office and said this was an event he wanted to discuss with me that he knew about and asked that we get involved, Barry and I,” White explained. “It’s a shredding event to aid in the prevention of identity theft where people can come out and bring their important documents that you don’t want to just throw into the trash.”

Residents may bring their personal documents and records to be safely shredded right before their eyes and it won’t cost a dime.

“It’ll all be shredded and placed into the back of a large truck and then taken for recycling,” White added.

Most participants will not even have to get out of their vehicles. They would simply drive through the parking lot, volunteers will help with the unloading, and the contents would immediately be shredded.  Those who wish can even jump out of their cars and watch the sensitive information destroyed right before their eyes.

“There won’t be much traffic there that day so we’ll have plenty of parking as well as a place to park the truck,” White added. “There will also be restrooms within the Social Services Building.”

Among the documents that may be confidential and might require shredding include: bank statements, job applications, brokerage reports, credit card statements, legal documents, canceled checks, medical records, Social Security numbers, insurance policies, pay-stubs, tax records, invoices, receipts, photographs, and telephone numbers.

“It is free for all citizens and for all businesses,” said Sauer.  “Mr. Anderson and Ms. White work together on solid waste and recycling, so they’re going to lead our team once we get the word out.”

In addition to the media, information is also available at the DSS Building and through the county’s office of Cooperative Extension.

“If you or your family or neighbors have a shoebox of paperwork you want to get rid of in a timely manner that truck will be there and these folks will be there to help,” Sauer noted.

The County Manager went on to explain the goal of the event is to provide a safe, secure way for the community to shred their information sensitive documents. This is a first come, first-serve event, so once the trucks fill up, unfortunately they may have to turn some away.

Commission chairman Ronald D. “Ron” Wesson re-iterated that a prior event at Vidant Bertie Hospital was a big success.

“I think we will be able to handle everything,” said Anderson. “I’ll be the one to make sure it will be in secure hands.”

“Mr. Anderson, you can probably expect to get a vigorous workout,” Commissioner Tammy Lee jokingly said.