More Than 15 Years of Shredding It!

By Cancer Foundation on August 1 / 2019


Paper has given us a lot over the years – countless works of art, literary masterpieces, love letters, the news – and for the past 15 years, it has given hope to the thousands of families affected by cancer each year in our region.

Each month since 2004, Shred-It Ottawa has been setting up their mobile shredding truck and offering shredding services to the community. For a small donation to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, people can bring up to five boxes of unwanted personal information to 1101 Polytek Street, where it will be quickly and securely destroyed on site.

The event is run by two seasoned Shred-It staff members who volunteer their time. Rain, snow or shine, on the second Saturday of every month, you’ll find Terry Hilton and Nelson Stokes unloading boxes from cars, running documents through the shredder and collecting donations for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation. Terry and Nelson love giving their time to serve the community, but giving back to the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation holds extra significance for both men.

“I have had a lot of family members [who have] been diagnosed with cancer,” says Terry, “so I just love giving back to the community and helping families like mine.”

For Nelson, it’s his mom who inspires him give back. “My mom had cancer,” he says. “She had Non-Hodgkin lymphoma twice. She beat it. So I try and support, do whatever I can.”

Since 2004, the Shred-It event has raised nearly $240,000 for the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation, funds that have been invested in local cancer research, clinical trials, state-of-the-art equipment and the Cancer Coaching Services offered at the Cancer Foundation’s Maplesoft-GumDocs Centre.

On average, Terry estimates they see 75-100 people each month at the Shred-It for a Cure event, and the numbers continue to grow thanks to word of mouth. People from all across Ottawa bring their documents to shred, with some coming multiple times per year. Word about the event has even reached so far as Kingston; this past month, a 16-year cancer survivor made the drive to the event because she had a number of documents to shred and loved that she could support others while using a service she needed anyway.

If you have documents to shred and would like to support the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation while doing it, the event isn’t going anywhere! Says Terry, “I enjoy volunteering my time and it’s for a great cause. I also enjoy just seeing the smiles on people’s faces as we help out.  So I see myself doing this for many years to come.”

Update (June 17, 2020): As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the monthly Shred-It for a Cure event in support of the Cancer Foundation has been put on hold indefinitely. There are currently no future Shred-It events scheduled.

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