REALTOR®’s giving spirit inspires teen to donate

From left to right: REALTORS® Lindsey Adams, Rachael Polakovic and Zannah Brown are joined by Joanne Johnston with WAYS.

When Rachael Polakovic walked into a West 49 store with a limited budget and limited knowledge of what type of clothes to buy as a donation for Western Area Youth Services (WAYS), she didn’t know where to start.

That’s when she met an intrigued employee who displayed a keen interest in helping out.

“We had some difficulty finding stuff for two of the youth that didn’t say much on their wish lists,” said Polakovic, a REALTOR® with the Agency Real Estate Brokerage in London, Ont. “He helped us pick out some things and then asked why we were so unsure of colours and sizes. We explained what we were doing and he commended us. He said his family had been through a lot a few years ago and organizations just like WAYS helped them when they were in need.”

WAYS Mental Health Support is a not-for-profit agency that supports children, youth and families who face challenges such as trauma, emotional or behavioural problems, mental health issues, conflict with the law and relationship difficulties.

Polakovic said “you could write a novel” about all the charity work she’s involved in, including collecting personal care products and clothing for Just a Bunch of Friends, a group that distributes the much-needed items to people experiencing homelessness.

For the past four years, she and her family have held these types of causes close to their hearts, but it was this little act of kindness inside the West 49 that really touched her heart.

The teen employee asked Polakovic how he could help. He then went back to the staff room and came back with $120 of his own money – $20 for each of the six girls Polakovic had sponsored.

“This young man didn’t even think twice about contributing,” Polakovic said. “We hugged him so tight and he got teary as we thanked him. We were so overrun with emotion.”

She said she wants to share his story in hopes of inspiring others to give back.
“I love being a part of an industry and organization that believe so strongly in giving back,” she said. “Makes me proud to be a REALTOR® for sure.”

Last year alone, Polakovic’s brokerage donated more than $2,000 to WAYS. She said they are hoping to double that this year.

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