One Family’s Efforts in Giving Back to the Heroes of Rapid City

MacKayla Taken is a proud mother of two amazing kids and puppy Rocky, and a wife to her high school sweetheart, who serves in the National Guard.

MacKayla started her real estate career as an office assistant. She quickly learned that she had a passion for what they do and working with people. It was really enticing and interesting, and several of her in-laws were already in the business, so from office assistant to broker associate, she decided to expand on her goals.

It’s evident from the sparkle in MacKayla’s eyes and the way she leans in closely when talking about the program just how near and dear it is to her heart. “I am going into my third year with Dupont Real Estate, and I love that I am able to help people make such a big decision with my expertise.” She adds, “My priority is making sure that my clients are well-informed and know everything from the beginning of our contract, to closing day. I want to answer their questions before they even have them!” 

While she may be new to the real estate business, MacKayla has something very few realtors in Rapid City do—she offers a rebate for heroes as a member of the Dupont Real Estate team. The program is called Homes for Heroes. There are less than 10 agents in the Rapid City area that partake in the program! Anyone that is part of the Dupont Real Estate team can participate in the program, but not everyone chooses to do so. 

Dupont Real Estate is run by broker Nick Dupont (MacKayla’s brother-in-law). Dupont, his wife, and several other relatives work for or are veterans of the U.S. National Guard. Having this experience, they wanted to find a way to give back to others like them and those who serve the community. Homes for Heroes was developed in 2009 and is a veteran-owned program. To this day, the program has helped over 30,000 heroes save more than $50 million on real estate transactions. 

They’re on the streets, serving a deployment, in your kids’ schools, handing out vaccinations, and attending the sick – they’re our heroes. Oftentimes they give and give, and everyone takes without truly appreciating or recognizing their work and sacrifice. Through Homes for Heroes, MacKayla is able to give back to those who give so much for our community, one penny at a time! It is a small token of appreciation, but can speak really loudly to those who day after day support their community in a variety of fields, she tells me.

“25% of my commission from selling the home goes back to my client, as a small token of appreciation for what they do,” Taken shares. “We offer rebates for any military (active or retired), law enforcement, any medical field personnel (including nurses, doctors, dentists, optometrists, and even those who serve on the administrative staff), teachers, and firefighters/EMTs.”

It isn’t easy in a commission-based job to give up 25% of your paycheck, but every penny is worth it. MacKayla has such a passion for what she does, and really strives to give back in any way she can.

In the last three years, she has seen teachers, nurses, highway patrol, military, and more get rebates. The rebates are processed within two weeks, so the clients are able to put that money toward house renovations, furniture, and more. After the money is in their pocket, it is up to them to decide how to spend it, according to MacKayla.

My favorite story that MacKayla shared with me was of a teacher who used half of her rebate for classroom supplies and materials. The joy was clearly present when MacKayla spoke of how these rebates can be a big loop of giving. Another story was from a first-time homeowner, a nurse. She and her fiance were expecting their second child, and they wanted to use the rebate to help with maternity leave and any additional costs. 

words by Sarah Richards
photos by Jesse Brown Nelson