Pasco News

Business group holds Shredathon to raise funds, combat ID theft

NEW PORT RICHEY - More than 12 million Americans were victims of identity theft in 2012, according to Javelin Strategy and Research, a customer transactions consulting firm. Business Professional Women of Calusa staged a Shredathon at A+ Tax and Accounting, one of the professional group's many sponsors. People could bring important documents and have them shredded by a Pro Shred Security truck right in front of their eyes. Shredding documents containing important personal information, such as your social security number and credit card information, can reduce the risk for identity theft. Kelly Steen, an employee of Cadence Bank and member of BPW Calusa, said "the amount of identity theft and fraud is overwhelming." At the end of the day, the shredded paper filled 20 bins. Each bin weighs 135 pounds, equaling 2,700 pounds of paper. All together, 337,500 pieces of paper were shredded.The proceeds of the day, $304, went toward BPW Calusa's scholarship program. The nonprofit organization gives women opportunities and motivation to further their educations and careers. The organization has awarded five scholarships so far this year."It's for women who have been impacted by life and its challenges, who need the hand up, not the hand out," Alice Delgardo, president of BPW Calusa, said. "Women who are just trying to be, to find themselves."BPW Calusa leaders believed the Shredathon would offer a service that is both unique and beneficial.