Family is important to Realtor Claudette Bruck, who is shown here visiting with her three nieces and some of their children.
TAMARAC, Fla. – A Dancing Mickey Mouse was at the top of a little boy’s Christmas list. And, Claudette Bruck, CCIM, GRI, a real estate professional with Multiple Choice Realty Investments Inc. in Tamarac, wasn’t going to sleep until he got it.
“Every year, I shop for the children at a local homeless shelter. I’m determined to get everything on their lists,” says Bruck. Each child picks three items, expecting only to get one. “No good,” says Bruck. “I want them to have it all.”
So, after visiting several stores and making even more phone calls looking for the sold-out Dancing Mickey, Bruck was at her wit’s end. “I resorted to calling the Wal-Mart back room at 7 a.m. every day to ask if any came in that day’s shipment, and I continued to look everywhere.”
In fact, she was ready to pay double the price for it via eBay online auctions. So, imagine her surprise when she walked into a local Toys-R-Us in search of another toy on the list and saw a whole table of Dancing Mickeys.
“They just got the shipment in,” she says, “That’s when you just know it’s bigger than you. God must have gotten tired of hearing me plead,” she laughs. “I’ve all but met people in a back alley to get some of the popular game systems.”
Such is a normal day in the life of Bruck—busy helping others. The Christmas toys she buys the children at the Broward Partnership for the Homeless are part of her work as a trustee with the Realtor Association of Greater Fort Lauderdale Charitable Foundation. For about 12 years, Bruck spent her own money on presents for these children—upwards of $3,000—until the Charitable Foundation took over the Christmas party and gifts.
However, Bruck still insists on doing all of the shopping and wrapping for that party. “The Foundation also donated money to have two playgrounds built at the homeless shelter,” she says. “I’m known as the ‘bag lady,’ she laughs. “I hand out bags to all my friends asking them to fill them with supplies that I can bring to the homeless shelter.”
In addition, the Foundation does numerous small acts of kindness that make a big difference. “There’s a woman in her 90s [to whom] I bring communion every Sunday,” says Bruck. “She lost her hearing aid some time ago, and I had it replaced. It was a gift for this woman and she was so thankful,” says Bruck, who is also a Coral Spring city commissioner.
Tired yet? Not Bruck. She’s just getting started. She’s been serving as a Guardian Ad Litem for Broward County, representing abused and neglected children in the court system, for almost 25 years. “I’m the longest serving Guardian Ad Litem in Broward County, and I’ve never been without a case,” she says.
In addition, Bruck is a trustee for Silent Angels, a charitable Realtor organization that provides funds, supplies and services to help individuals who are making a determined effort yet remain financially needy or otherwise distressed. She also serves as a trustee for the Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund, which assists Realtors, real estate employees and staff of a Realtor board/association in the event of devastation caused by a hurricane, tornado or other natural disaster.
Not to mention, Bruck is a commercial Realtor who has her own company. She’s a 38-year real estate veteran who specializes in office buildings, property management and land development. She’s served as a chair on the Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM) Institute and has been legislative committee chair for both Florida Realtors® and her local Realtor association.
Bruck admits she has a weakness for helping children and the elderly, finding great pleasure in giving to others. She brings communion to elderly church members who can’t get to Mass and participates in Project Safety, a City of Coral Springs Police Department Project. The program distributes battery-powered tracking bracelets to elderly residents suffering from Alzheimer’s, autism, dementia or other diseases that may cause them to wander away or become lost. The bracelets have a battery that Bruck will change every 30 days for her assigned clients.
There aren’t many people who do the amount of giving that Bruck does—both in time and other treasures. “It’s a true blessing,” she says. “The God of my understanding has trusted me enough to do these things for someone else, and it fills my heart. I’ve seen a lot of pain and suffering. But, I’ve seen so much good come from these organizations. Even a little help goes a long way.”
Not only is Claudette Bruck passionate about helping others, she also is a dedicated Realtor who has taken additional education courses to enhance her knowledge and expertise. She has earned the professional designations of Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM); Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI); and Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). For her dedication to the community and the real estate profession, Florida Realtors honored Bruck twice as its Humanitarian of the Year, in 2000 and again in 2008. In 2011, she received Florida Realtors’ Commercial Realtor Achievement Award.