By Teresa Taylor Williams
North Muskegon – If you have old tax returns, receipts and personal documents that are of little use to you any longer, there’s a party this weekend that you won’t want to miss.
This mobile shred fest is free of charge, and done in service to the community, according to Troy Fox, a financial advisor and president of Fox Financial Services. The public may drop off their unwanted documents, or hang around and watch them being shredded in the giant mobile unit.
“You can bring any amount of papers to shred. People have brought a single grocery bag and one guy unloaded his pickup” that was full of documents to be shredded, said Fox.
This is the third year for the event. Last year was bigger than the first, and Fox anticipates even more people will utilize this service this weekend.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, the general public is often unsure as to what documents to hold on to for future purposes, and which to shred. Shredding documents with personal information is also a key factor to preventing identity theft.
For example, birth certificates, adoption papers, Social Security cards, citizenship papers or passports, marriage or divorce degrees and death certificates should be saved and locked away securely. Auto titles, home deeds and home improvement receipts should be kept as long as you own the property. However, pay stubs may be shredded after checking them against your W-2, and credit card and utility payments may be shredded after paying. Bank statements, pay stubs and medical bills may be shredded after one year. The FTC recommends keeping tax returns indefinitely (consumer.ftc.gov).
“In the accounting and financial world, clients always ask how long to keep personal documents. A few years ago I thought it would be cool to have a shredding party for those who do not have access to a shredding device,” said Fox.
Born and raised in Muskegon, Fox is hoping for a large turnout, and said he enjoys providing this much-needed service to the community. “What I look at is we’re not gonna quit, every year we will be better and bigger,” he said.
Refreshments will also be served.
Along with the Shredding Party, there will be a food drive for Kids Food Basket, a local nonprofit organization that provides sack meals to more than 750 children in three Muskegon area schools. The following donations will be accepted and given to Kids Food Basket: 100% fruit juice boxes, cracker packs, granola bars, individual fruit or pudding cups, creamy peanut butter, Cheerios, bulk pretzels, bulk Cheez-It or Goldfish crackers, and snack size zipper-lock bags.
Fox and his smart money tips may also be heard at 9 a.m. Saturdays on the Keeping Your Money show and at 9:45am for the What’s Up Muskegon segment on 100.9 FM.
What: Third Annual Shredding Party, free and open to the public
Where: Cox Accounting, 1975 Holton Road, Muskegon
When: 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday, June 3
What to bring: Any unwanted documents, such as old checks, forms, statements that list your personal information.
For more information, call (231) 730-8769