Editorial: The institution deserves credit

July 28, 2014

Sometimes, people do things just because they are good things to do. Sometimes, businesses do, too.

Cynics are always suspicious that other people — and, especially, businesses — don’t do anything just because it would be beneficial.

Well, here’s one that shouts “good deed” out loud, with no hint of greed.

Last Saturday, Dannemora Federal Credit Union held its seventh-annual Shred Fest so anyone with confidential documents that were worn out, expired or for any other reason useless could take them to office on Tom Miller Road, Plattsburgh, to be run through a shredder.

Both members and nonmembers of the Credit Union were invited to bring up to 20 banker-sized boxes of confidential materials.

If you don’t understand how valuable this service is, think back to the many cases that have been talked or written about in which identities and crucial personal information have been pirated so unscrupulous people could cash in on it: numbers on bank accounts or credit cards, for instance.

Once secured by dishonest people, those numbers could be exploited for large sums of money, loss of reputation, illegal documents or other outcomes bound to do damage.

Shredding is now a way of life for the savvy.

And all the Credit Union asked in return was that people bring some nonperishable food items for Plattsburgh Interfaith Food Shelf. So the occasion did double duty as a public benefit. The Credit Union was even providing entertainment via Eagle Country Radio 975.

Last year, Dannemora Federal Credit Union’s Shred Fest resulted in two trucks packed three-quarters full with shredded paper, which was taken to be recycled. And the people who showed up donated 16 boxes of food items, five bags of pet food and about $125 in cash donations.

This worthy effort seems to be spreading a little. Last year, Ticonderoga Federal Credit Union held its first-ever Shred Fest, which produced more than 5,600 pounds of shredded paper and brought in more than $440 in food to be split among three area food pantries.

These credit unions don’t have to offer this service, of course. They are under no legal or even moral obligation at all to do so. Yet they did.

Somebody might make the case that, by opening its shredders to the public, the credit unions were courting new business, though it seems doubtful to us that many non-customers would change their banking habits just as a thank you for this once-a-year special.

The credit unions have provided a service that is truly important in this era of identity theft, and the number of people who showed up at the Plattsburgh event last Saturday prove how much the service is valued.

An institution that derives its name from the credit it distributes has earned a little for itself.

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