A Long History of Charitable Giving at Shorewest Elmbrook/Wauwatosa

Charitable contributions to the community have been at the foundation of Shorewest Realtors’ philosophy throughout the company’s long history. Through involvement in such beneficial giving activities, the members of the Shorewest team, such as at its Elmbrook/Wauwatosa office, complete a positive cycle of support and goodwill.

According to Deborah Brown, Sales Director and Broker at Shorewest Realtors Elmbrook/Wauwatosa office, “At Shorewest, we believe that giving back to the communities we serve is the highest form of thank you we can give in return for the support we receive.” At Brown’s location, those gifts back to the community have taken several forms over the years, with a special focus on local charities and participation by Shorewest’s agents. “We focus on things in the communities that we serve that allow our agents to participate in the event. “ For the Wauwatosa office, Brown cites local events including Tosafest and Hartfest, Tosa Parade, and Prosit Tosa, as well as smaller events sponsored by Shorewest agents.

“As a company, our community involvement covers both humanitarian and educational {out}reach and includes over 50 charities
that we help to support,” Brown stated.

Additional favorite charitable partnerships include Habitat for Humanity, Feeding America, and Food for Families, as well as “any fun event like the Shorewest Golf Outing…anything that gets our agents out and about with people and that makes an impact in a life,” Brown explained. Annually, the Shorewest company participates in the Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse. The Wauwatosa Shorewest team also actively supports the Wauwatosa Historical Society. According to Brown, “Both of these events allow volunteerism that also makes a difference.”

The longest standing charitable partnership for the Elmbrook/Wauwatosa Shorewest office began 39 years ago, and is shared with a unique and special charity, Christmas is for Kids (C4K). C4K was originally begun by a Shorewest agent, Del Rohr, and now continues through the generous work of his daughter, Christine Caponigro, and the work of numerous Shorewest volunteers. Brown described the work of C4K and their positive impact on the community: “What started as a small way to support less fortunate children has grown to helping over 300 needy kids have a great Christmas. They are provided with age appropriate gifts, a chance to meet Santa, games and face painting, stockings full of fun, and necessities and lunch. It’s a great experience for all who attend and for those who volunteer.” Shorewest looks forward to celebrating the 40th year of this partnership of giving this coming Christmas season. Shorewest actively fundraises in support of the annual C4K event throughout the year through rummage sales, chili cook-offs, and silent auctions, donating all proceeds to C4K. In 2022, Shorewest agents volunteered their time at the Tosafest beverage tent, then donated back all of their tips to C4K.

Brown described the experience offered by the C4K charity in this way: “The stories of our C4K kids are so touching; these are kids who would not have anything under the tree if not for this charity. So many times we hear that brothers and sisters make sure that their sibling is getting a gift and are willing to give up theirs. Of course, everyone gets a gift! Or, they don’t want to open the gift at the party but instead, want to take it home to at least have something to open on Christmas morning. Anyone who has ever volunteered for the party always comes away feeling like they have made a difference. Who is not changed by a child’s joy?”

Brown recalls other moving examples of families positively impacted by Shorewest’s holiday-season charitable giving. One, a widowed single mother, working multiple jobs and raising three children under the age of 11, benefited profoundly from the assistance of food donated through Food for Families, one of the organizations supported by Shorewest donations. “The help we were able to give them was literally the difference between life and death,” Brown said. “Putting a meal on the table or going hungry.”

For Shorewest, forging charitable community partnerships has been ongoing, starting with its inception as Wauwatosa Realty and continuing to the present day. As a company, Shorewest is always looking for new opportunities to give back to the community. This year, Shorewest will sponsor the Christmas Market in Tosa for the first time. “The market will focus on supporting local businesses and give our agents an opportunity to volunteer on an individual basis as well,” Brown said. 

Shorewest values its community and charitable partnerships as integral to its successful business. “Being allowed to be a part of people’s lives during a real estate transaction is a privilege that has made Shorewest the largest brokerage in southeast Wisconsin,” Brown explained. “Along with that goes a responsibility to support the communities where our clients have chosen to purchase homes. Giving back is just a natural response to that privilege. Our agents live in many of the communities they serve, and are part of the fabric of those communities, so, of course, they want to be involved in whatever ways they can to support where they live and work.”

For those looking to establish charitable partnerships, Brown recommends, “Find partnerships that align with your core values and that give the most opportunity to reach as many people as possible.” As for Shorewest’s ongoing mission of community involvement and support, Brown noted that the company plans to “continue with our great history of giving back. It is something this company has always done and will continue to do, and as a general rule, does without much fanfare except for the appreciation of the charities we support.
Our mission and joy is in the giving.”

Brown concluded, “One of the many reasons that Shorewest has been successful over the years is our agents, and our agents believe in a company that gives back. A local company with local roots that understands the need of each community they are part of is a rare thing, and we are ‘Proud to be Shorewest.’”