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Jan 29
The Top 7 Questions Insurance Agents Should Ask Clients

Top insurance producers learn that they can best grow an insurance business by focusing on serving and protecting their clients and not just making their next insurance sale. Brokers who take the time to understand a client's needs, values, and concerns enjoy a competitive advantage over others who just want to push a product.

How can agents demonstrate their dedication to serving clients to earn their confidence? They should begin with the first insurance sales appointment by asking the right questions, listening carefully to the answers, and having relevant follow-up questions in mind. Client interviews should revolve around clients' needs and not an insurance agency's ambitions.

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The answers to these key questions will ensure the agent understands their client's requirements and demonstrate their eagerness to offer solutions to protect the most valuable aspects of their lives and businesses. That way, clients can enjoy the protection and security they truly want and need.

7 Open-Ended Questions for Insurance Agents to Ask Prospective Clients at a Sales Presentation

What specific questions should top insurance brokers ask to learn what each client wants and needs? Insurance producers should ask open-ended questions that stimulate discussions and help them understand their client's unique situation and values. The agent might need to dig deeper and should also arrive prepared with logical follow-up questions based on specific answers.

Preparing these questions can take time, but the answers ensure brokers will offer the right policy at the right time. Savvy clients certainly won't mind seeing that a sales professional has come to the interview prepared in exchange for asking for some of their valuable time. 

To get started, consider these seven simple questions to ask potential customers. Over time, you may edit and customize them based on your experience with various target markets. However, this list should give you an excellent place to begin. 

What coverage do you currently have?

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Insurance agents can begin by documenting their prospective client's current coverage and premiums for each in-force insurance policy. Documenting current coverage offers a good starting place to understand which policies they're likely to need, premium expectations, and any possible coverage gaps.

To save time, you could ask the prospect to gather this information before the meeting to ensure they have it on hand. After viewing their current policies, add follow-up questions to determine what these clients like or dislike about their current coverage.

Brokers can use this information to match features that prospective clients already like and improve upon anything they don't care for. Also, use this opportunity to spot and explain coverage gaps and find relevant solutions.

What are your primary insurance concerns?

Asking insurance clients about their current concerns about insurance coverage offers insurance brokers an excellent way to get people to open up and express their experiences and expectations. The answers will help agents select the best insurance coverage and even more, find out which aspects of coverage the client cares about the most.

If they don't answer right away, ask what went through their minds when they offered contact information to the insurance agency in the first place. For instance, many prospective clients may have had concerns about increasing insurance premiums, an unsatisfying experience with customer service, or hassles when making insurance claims.

If asking about concerns doesn't get them to open up, try prompting your clients with more specific questions about their encounters with current insurers. Try asking about their experiences with billing, customer service, and making claims.

How much insurance coverage do you think you need?

An insurance company may suggest a level of coverage for a specific individual, family, or business, based on national averages for similar clients. At the same time, particular people or companies might have unique situations that require more or less coverage than usual.

On the other hand, many people will underestimate their coverage needs. For instance, a life insurance prospect may think they need a life insurance policy with a death benefit of $250,000 to cover the balance on a mortgage for a home they recently purchased. The prospect might not have considered providing extra income for a spouse or adding to an educational or retirement fund.

Consider another example. The prospect might mention a current policy for homeowners insurance that covers damage at the actual value and not the replacement cost. Explain that this will only provide enough money to replace their appliances and electronics at thrift store prices. Coverage for the replacement cost will let them buy new items to replace the damaged ones.

Either way, the client's estimate can offer a valuable starting place for a conversation about the amount of coverage they should purchase.

How would you prefer to pay?

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Naturally, various clients will have different financial situations and ways they prefer to budget for bills. For example, some people prefer to pay each month to make it easier to manage cash flow. At the same time, others would rather pay upfront for six months or a year to earn discounts and make accounting simpler.

Most importantly, help clients understand the importance of setting up automatic payments through their checking account or a credit card. Primarily, they won't experience a lapse in coverage because they overlooked a bill. Also, many insurers offer discounts for automatic drafts, even if the client pays monthly.

Have you filed claims before?

Information about previous insurance claims can uncover plenty of valuable information about a client. First, the answer can highlight risks and offer a chance for the agent to learn if the client has taken steps to reduce the risk of future issues. Insurance brokers can also take the opportunity to learn about the client's experience with customer service, adjusters, and other aspects of claims handling.

Of course, insurance companies will base their premiums on the client's risk profile. For example, they may charge more for property insurance for clients with previous claims or who live in a high-crime area. Some insurers may even decline high-risk applicants. In contrast, many insurance companies offer discounts for investments in risk mitigation, such as security systems. The agent can use information from the answer to filter out potential insurance companies and make suggestions about risk management.

Is your property or business subject to particular risks?

Insurance companies gather massive amounts of data to help them understand the general risk profiles of various businesses or individuals based on industry, location, and local or national averages. However, these risk profiles will probably not describe your current prospects perfectly, so it's good business to learn about the owner's assessment of their unique risks to determine exposures because of coverage gaps.

Even the smallest companies generally need protection against liability claims and property damage, so that's an excellent place to begin explaining small business insurance. Still, a business may appear ordinary on the surface. At the same time, it could have some unique risk exposures because of weather, crime, online sales, professional activities, the age or health of the owner and key personnel, or international business connections.

Insurers provide an excellent source of information about typical risks, but the owner's opinion also has value. Just as critical, the answer to this question can help an agent understand what their potential clients value and even more, what they worry about. That knowledge will help uncover the coverage most likely to engage and satisfy the prospect. Besides protecting clients' finances, insurance should also offer them peace of mind.

What Are Your Company's Most Valuable Assets?

If you ask most small business owners about their most valuable asset, you might expect them to name their business, inventory, machines, or supplies. Instead, they often mention themselves and perhaps, a few key employees.

This type of answer can open up discussions about the benefits of business owners' life insurance, a product they may have yet to consider. The response could also indicate the owner is ready to discover group health insurance or ensure the business has the best worker's compensation insurance.

In other words, any answer that prospective clients offer can give you insight into what they value the most. This clue can help you suggest an insurance plan that includes protection other agents might miss.

Typically, small businesses rely on a business owner's policy that includes general liability insurance and property insurance. However, suppose your client says his company's most important assets include intellectual property and data. They may also need specialized coverage, like intellectual property and cyber insurance.

Simple Questions Unlock the Value of a Client-Focused Interview

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Every insurance business should focus on delivering security and peace of mind to its clients. How can brokers know what their clients truly want and need?

The key to understanding prospects well enough to turn them into clients is simple -- insurance brokers need to ask the right questions. Insurance agents should make a plan to ask leading questions to spark a discussion and pay close attention to everything the client says.

Insurance agents with a client-centered approach to sales can develop trust, grow their businesses, and earn referrals. Depending upon the answers, agents should also prepare follow-up questions to ensure they understand their client's risks, concerns, and values. That way, they can confidently offer the best solutions to each unique customer.​


Dec 07
Secura Insurance Donates $37,500 to Nonprofits in Honor of Agency Partners

​Neenah, Wis. (Dec. 7, 2021) – SECU​RA Insurance will donate $37,500 to 26 nonprofit organizations through a #GivingTuesday contest designed to help independent insurance agencies support organizations in their communities. 

Agents nominated local nonprofits through the #SECURAGivesBack campaign. Twenty-six participating agencies were selected at random to receive a $1,250 donation to a nonprofit of their choice. SECURA also donated an additional $5,000 to one agency's nominated nonprofit in honor of the campaign's fifth anniversary. 

"We are happy to be able to give back to more nonprofits this year with the fifth anniversary of the #SECURAGivesBack campaign," said Kevin Klestinski, Vice President - Specialty Lines Underwriting, "SECURA not only supports nonprofits, we also provide insurance coverage designed for the risks they face. #SECURAGivesBack is our way of saying thank you to our agents for the work they do to protect nonprofits. We are honored to give back to the organizations that make our communities a great place to live, work, and play."

The winning Kentukcy agencies and the nonprofits that will benefit include: 

Dec 06
Press Release 2021 - Big I Kentucky Installs New Board of Directors

​Louisville, KY – Big I Kentucky (BIG I KY), the state's leading insurance trade association, installed its Board of Directors during the association's 125th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show on November 11, 2021, at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

Kevin Desmond was installed as Chair, Whitney Floyd, CIC as Chair-Elect and Laura Yount, CIC, CISR as Vice-Chair.
 
Kevin Desmond is President of Desmond Brothers, Inc. in Bellevue, Kentucky. He is a graduate of Newport Catholic High School and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Xavier University in 1977. He currently serves as a member of BIG I KY's Events, Foundation, Government Affairs and Industry Partner Committees. Desmond is a former Board Member of the Cincinnati chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He and his wife, Karen, reside in Fort Thomas. Kevin has two daughters, Stephanie Wood and Jennifer Markus, and three grandaugthers.

Whitney Floyd, CIC, is Vice President of Field & Main Insurance in Henderson, Kentucky. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Kentucky and earned her Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2018. She serves BIG I KY as a member of the Emerging Leader, Industry Partner and Trusted Choice Committees. Floyd has served her community in a variety of capacities, as Co-Founder and Past President of The Henderson Rotaract club, past treasurer and board member of Henderson Community College Foundation and past Membership Chair and secretary of Friends of Audubon. She and her husband, Wes, reside in Henderson with their black lab, Dixie and Goldendoodle, Biscuit.

Laura Yount, CIC, CISR, is Principal of Mountain Valley Insurance in London, Kentucky. She is a 2003 graduate of the University of Kentucky and earner her Certified Insurance Service Representative designation in 2005 and Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2006. She has served on the Emerging Leaders, Events, Government Affairs and Membership Services Committees. Yount serves her community as a member of Forward Community Church and an active volunteer with the Angel Tree Program and the local homeless shelter. She and her husband, David, reside in London with a lot of fur babies.

 
Other board members installed at the event include:

  • Ray A. Robertson, CIC – Limestone Agency, Inc., Mount Sterling; Past Chair
  • Allen J. Crawford, CIC, CSRM – Reed Brothers Insurance Services, Somerset; Treasurer
  • Chip Atkins – R.H. Clarkson Insurance Agency, Louisville; National Director
  • Philip Anderton – Sterling Thompson Insurance, Louisville
  • Carolyn Reynolds – Reynolds Insurance Agency, Richmond
  • Chris Wiseman – Houchens Insurance Group, Bowling Green
  • Mark Linkous – Glass & Thompson Insurance, Edmonton
  • Eric Schumacher – Schumacher Insurance Agency, Inc., Maysville
  • John Purdom – The Murray Insurance Agency, Murray
  • Nick Rolf – Gross Insurance Agency, LLC., Fort Thomas
  • Danny Yackey – Insuramax, Inc., Louisville; Emerging Leader Chair

 

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About Big I Kentucky:

Big I Kentucky, formerly the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky (IIAK), is the largest insurance trade association in the state, with more than 300 insurance agencies, employing more than 3,000 people as its members. Independent agents offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. These agents provide all lines of personal and business insurance, including – property, casualty, life and health, and employee benefit plans and retirement products. The organization was founded in 1896.


Dec 06
Press Release 2021 - Whitley City Agent Receives Top Honors from Big I Kentucky

Louisville, KY – Big I Kentucky (BIG I KY), the state's leading insurance trade association, awarded the 2021 Customer Service Representative of the Year Award to Lisa West of Whitley City. She received the award during the association's 125th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show on November 11, 2021 at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

The Customer Service Representative of the Year Award is given to an individual working in a Big I Kentucky member agency as a customer service representative, who typifies the ideals of service.

West is a Personal Lines Customer Service Representative with Crabtree Wilson Insurance Agency in Whitley City. During her tenure, she has earned her Accredited Customer Service Representative (ACSR).

“Everyone has what they think is an exceptional person in their office but Lisa is truly exceptional," said Buddy Wilson, President of Crabtree Wilson Insurance Agency. “She not only does her job at processing policies, waiting on clients, taking payments and the normal CSR functions...but she does it with great empathy for her clients. She goes above and beyond in trying to make sure her clients are taken care of both in having the right coverages as well as assisting with claims, even after its turned over to the adjuster."


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About Big I Kentucky:
Big I Kentucky, formerly the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky (IIAK), is the largest insurance trade association in the state, with more than 300 insurance agencies, employing more than 3,000 people as its members. Independent agents offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. These agents provide all lines of personal and business insurance, including – property, casualty, life and health, and employee benefit plans and retirement products. The organization was founded in 1896.​

Media Coverage:

The McCreary Voice​

Dec 06
Press Release 2021 - Big I Kentucky Announce Adam Sheridan as Emerging Leader of the Year

Louisville, KY – Big I Kentucky (BIG I KY), the state's leading insurance trade association, awarded the 2021 Michael D. Hepp Emerging Leader of the Year Award to Adam Sheridan of Somerset. He received the award during the association's 125th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show on November 10, 2021 at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

The Michael D. Hepp Emerging Leader of the Year Award is given to honor an individual who has made a significant contribution to furthering the Emerging Leader program both within Big I Kentucky and the industry as a whole.

Through Sheridan's leadership, dedication and hard work, we have seen the engagement and growth of emerging leaders in our association steadily increase year after year. He has been instrumental in finding top notch speakers for our emerging leader conferences and most of all he handled any task no matter how grand or miniscule handed to him during his two years as chair.

Our Emerging Leader Committee has been left in a better place because of his active involvement and dedication," said Katie Hines, Membership Services Director and Emerging Leader Liaison for Big I Kentucky.

This award is named after Michael D. Hepp, a former Big I Kentucky Emerging Leader Chair and Past President. It recognizes someone with a passion for the industry, strong leader within the association and a consistent voice for the emerging leaders.

 

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About Big I Kentucky:

Big I Kentucky, formerly the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky (IIAK), is the largest insurance trade association in the state, with more than 300 insurance agencies, employing more than 3,000 people as its members. Independent agents offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. These agents provide all lines of personal and business insurance, including – property, casualty, life and health, and employee benefit plans and retirement products. The organization was founded in 1896.​

Dec 06
Press Release 2021 - Arlington Roe's Donna Schlie Wins First-Ever Buford C. McIntosh Company Person of the Year Award

Louisville, KY – Big I Kentucky (BIG I KY), the state's leading insurance trade association, awarded the 2021 Buford C. McIntosh Company Person of the Year Award to Donna Schlie of Arlington Roe. She received the award during the association's 125th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show on November 11, 2021 at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

The Buford C. McIntosh Company Person of the Year Award is given to an individual who is a supporter of Big I Kentucky and its member agencies. They are an example of customer service, integrity and perseverance. The award is presented to an individual who has made a difference to their clients and made the insurance industry better as a whole. 

With more than 30 years in the insurance industry and just having celebrated 15 years with Arlington Roe, Schlie is known for being loyal to her agents and always looking out for their concerns and needs. She is a true professional with a gifted talent of nurturing relationships between an underwriting team and agency staff. She is also the face of Arlington Roe at ALL Big I events.

Donna is the lifeblood of our company and it's relationships in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee – she was essential in getting our name out there after the purchase of the Southern General Agency in 2005 and she has continued to show her importance to our company and this industry. Arlington Roe is a better place because she works for us," said Jim Roe, President & CEO of Arlington Roe.

This award is named after Buford C. McIntosh, a long-time supporter of Big I KY and member agents across Kentucky. Buford spent many years with Kentucky Central/Kentucky National Insurance Companies and helped agents of all sizes by believing in their integrity and perseverance.

As Donna always says, “It's another great day at Arlington Roe." Jeffrey McIntosh and Angie Cox, children of Buford, were on hand to present the award.
 
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About Big I Kentucky:

Big I Kentucky, formerly the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky (IIAK), is the largest insurance trade association in the state, with more than 300 insurance agencies, employing more than 3,000 people as its members. Independent agents offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. These agents provide all lines of personal and business insurance, including – property, casualty, life and health, and employee benefit plans and retirement products. The organization was founded in 1896.


Dec 06
Press Release 2021 - Bellevue Insurance Executive Installed as 100th Chair of State's Oldest Insurance Association

Louisville, KY – Big I Kentucky (BIG I KY), the state's leading insurance trade association, has elected Kevin Desmond as Chair. His appointment took place at the association's 125th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show on November 11, 2021, at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

Desmond is the President of Desmond Insurance, Inc. in Bellevue, KY. He joined the Big I Kentucky Board in 2016 and serves BIG I KY in a variety of capacities, most recently as a member of the Industry Partner Committee, Events Committee, Government Affairs Commitee and Kentucky Agents Foundation Board.

"Throughout the insurance industry in our state there are known families to be legends, the Desmond's are among those ranks," said Ray Robertson, Big I Kentucky Immediate Past Chair. “Kevin will no doubt be an incredible leader of this association. He has already proven to be a mainstay on the Government Affairs Committee and a champion for our programs and services."

The Desmond name is well-known throughout our organization. Desmond has two brothers, Michael Desmond and Dennis Desmond, both former Big I Kentucky Past Presidents and a niece, Shannon Desmond Walz, a former Big I Kentucky Emerging Leader Chair.

Kevin and his wife, Karen reside in Fort Thomas. and have two children, Stephanie and Jennifer and three granddaughters, Harper, Teagan and Quinn.


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About Big I Kentucky:

Big I Kentucky, formerly the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky (IIAK), is the largest insurance trade association in the state, with more than 300 insurance agencies, employing more than 3,000 people as its members. Independent agents offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. These agents provide all lines of personal and business insurance, including – property, casualty, life and health, and employee benefit plans and retirement products. The organization was founded in 1896.


Media Coverage:

NKY Tribune​

Insurance Journal

Dec 06
Press Release 2021 - Leitchfield Executive Receives Highest Honor from Big I Kentucky

​Louisville, KY – Big I Kentucky (BIG I KY), the state's leading insurance trade association, awarded the 2021 E. Starling Holloway Insuror of the Year Award to Stephen Kinkade of Leitchfield. He received the award during the association's 125th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show on November 11, 2021 at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

The E. Starling Holloway Insuror of the Year Award is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution, enhanced the ideals and reputation of the insurance industry, or has made a significant contribution to his community, state and country.

Kinkade is President of Kinkade-Cornell Insurance Agency in Leitchfield, Kentucky. He has been a beloved member of our board and association for the past 25 years, serving as Chairman in 2009 and as National Director from 2012-2020. After his many years of service to this association, he no doubt left it in a better place than when he started. Success can be measured in many ways, but Kinkade is the personification of servant leadership and exemplifies the characteristics of E. Starling Holloway.

“Steve has been a pillar inside Big I Kentucky being involved in every aspect of the association and at the national level. He has been a constant sounding board for important issues affecting our industry, a beacon of knowledge and, most importantly, a friend," said Chip Atkins, Big I Kentucky National Director and CEO of R.H. Clarkson Insurance Agency in Louisville.


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About Big I Kentucky:

Big I Kentucky, formerly the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky (IIAK), is the largest insurance trade association in the state, with more than 300 insurance agencies, employing more than 3,000 people as its members. Independent agents offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. These agents provide all lines of personal and business insurance, including – property, casualty, life and health, and employee benefit plans and retirement products. The organization was founded in 1896.

Media Coverage:

Grayson County News-Gazette


Dec 06
Press Release 2021 - New Award Given in Honor of Lexington Insurance Agent

Louisville, KY – Big I Kentucky (BIG I KY), the state's leading insurance trade association, posthumously awarded the first-ever Be Like Mike Award to Michael Johnson of Lexington. His wife, Ali Johnson, accepted the award on his behalf during the association's 125th Anniversary Convention & Trade Show on November 11, 2021 at The Galt House Hotel in Louisville, KY.

Mike Johnson served as a leader in our organization as Emerging Leader Chair in 2009 and Board Chair in 2018. His wit, passion and undeniably bold personality made a lasting impression on anyone he met. Mike's star was bright for Big I Kentucky and we want to see our members shine in the same way. Johnson received $1,000 from Arlington Roe to donate to Bluegrass Crime Stoppers, a charity beloved to Mike.

“I can honestly say Mike was one of the best people I've ever known," said Aaron LaRue, Manager of LaRue-Carey Insurance Group, LLC. in Bardstown. “He was always quick with a handshake and a smile and never met a stranger. He was naturally witty and could make just about anyone or an entire room laugh whether he was trying to or not."

Mike passed away on June 6, 2021. He lives on through his wife Ali and two sons, Davis and Donovan. His son, Donovan stood in his place as the organization's past presidents were honored.


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About Big I Kentucky:

Big I Kentucky, formerly the Independent Insurance Agents of Kentucky (IIAK), is the largest insurance trade association in the state, with more than 300 insurance agencies, employing more than 3,000 people as its members. Independent agents offer customers a choice of policies from a variety of insurance companies. These agents provide all lines of personal and business insurance, including – property, casualty, life and health, and employee benefit plans and retirement products. The organization was founded in 1896.

Media Coverage:

WTVQ


Aug 18
Press Release 2021 - KY Trusted Choice Agents Grant Wish for Henry County Boy

(Smithfield, KY) July 6th, 2021 — Longtime wish supporters, Trusted Choice, and Make-A-Wish® Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana (Make-A-Wish OKI), are bringing a Smithfield boy’s wish for a treehouse to life on Wednesday, July 7th at 4:00 p.m. Branch, who battles leukemia, chose his wish after making fun memories in a friend’s treehouse. Soon, he will have his very own backyard treehouse—a place to bring his imagination to life!

“Over the years, Trusted Choice has given more than $5M to make wishes come true for children with critical illnesses across the country,” said Make-A-Wish Kentucky Market Director of Advancement Kim Hales. “Thanks to them, Branch’s heartfelt wish will come true, and bring him and his entire family hope, strength, and joy, amid a difficult battle with leukemia. Trusted Choice is making the world a better place, and we’re so proud to have them a part of the Make-A-Wish family!”

WHAT: Branch’s Treehouse Wish Reveal
WHEN: Wednesday, July 7th at 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Wish kid Branch’s home. *Please contact Kim Hales at 502-345-8729 or khales@oki.wish.org to receive the address*

Kim Hales, a Trusted Choice representative, and others will be available for interviews.

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About Make-A-Wish Ohio, Kentucky & Indiana:

Make-A-Wish® OKI creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Founded in 1983, we have granted more than 18,000 wishes! Make-A-Wish is more than wish granting, it’s a global movement of transforming lives through hope, and wishes need YOU! Hundreds of wishes have been impacted by COVID-19 and put on hold by our chapter. To learn more about how you can donate, volunteer and share our mission, visit: wish.org/oki and follow us on social media @makeawishohkyin.​

Media Coverage: ​

WDRB

Henry County Local​

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