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TCH to provide chance to get rid of documents securely

By Staff | Jul 14, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED The Community House will host a Community Shredding Day on July 18 from 9 a.m. to noon in the north lot, across the street from the facility. Cost is $5 per box or bag.

The Community House will hold a Community Shredding Day this weekend for the islands.

On July 18, the venue will host its first event for 2020 from 9 a.m. to noon in its north lot, located across Periwinkle Way in front of the BIG ARTS Strauss Theater. The cost to utilize the service is $5 per box and bag, with residents and businesses welcome to stop by and dispose of their paperwork.

Executive Director Teresa Riska-Hall explained that they offer three events every year.

“Years and years ago, it started as a way for the citizens to safely get rid of their financial papers, tax papers, old credit cards, billing statements – that kind of thing,” she said.

The events also help to bring in a little money for The Community House.

“It is one of those situations where it is a win-win for both parties,” Riska-Hall said.

She explained that the funds raised go toward operational expenses, including the mortgage, utilities, insurance and salaries. In March and April, over $70,000 in revenue was lost due to COVID-19.

“We’re trying to keep our staff employed, just like everybody else,” Riska-Hall said.

The Community House uses Secure Shredding, out of Cape Coral.

“He comes and he actually shreds it right there,” she said of the items. “Those who want to stay and watch it be shredded can do that – they just need to pull their cars over to a different area.”

Documents, credit card receipts, checks, CDs, DVDs and more can be shredded.

“Anything that contains your personal information,” Riska-Hall said.

Participants need to remove large paperclips and binder clips.

“If they’re small paperclips or staples, they can just stay in,” she said.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, volunteers and staff will be wearing masks for safety.

“We would prefer that they put the bags and boxes in the truck if we need to help them out, or in the backseat,” Riska-Hall said, explaining that the intent is to socially distance and avoid close contact. “If they’re going to move their own boxes, if they’re getting out of the car, they need to have a mask on.”

There is a limit of four boxes or bags per person, but more is accepted with advance notice.

“Primarily, we want the regular citizens to come,” she said. “However, we also say businesses can come. They just need to give us a heads up if they’re going to have more than four or five boxes.”

“We ask them come a little bit later in the day,” Riska-Hall added.

Participants are asked to enter via the driveway next to Dunlop Road. After pulling up in a vehicle, volunteers will help them remove their paperwork, which is thrown in the shredder on the truck.

Participants exit via the driveway nearest to the Sanibel Bean.

The community is invited to make use of the service.

“It’s always good to get rid of last year’s taxes – and you also can support The Community House at the same time,” she said. “When you support The Community House, you’re supporting a lot of different organizations that meet here.”

For more information, call 239-472-2155 or visit www.sanibelcommunityhouse.net. Businesses planning to bring more than a few boxes can call between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The Community House is at 2173 Periwinkle Way, Sanibel.