Kohlhase Insurance helping give back to local community during COVID-19 crisis

Bobby Edd Penson Fund helps children ages 18-21 learn life skills, support themselves


The Arizona Friends of Foster Children Penson Fund has received a $5,000 donation from Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance as part of an Emergency Community Support Grant to help independent agents give back to their local community during the COVID-19 crisis.

Nominated by Lori Gibson of Kohlhase Insurance, 6550 E. Main St. in Mesa, the donation will go directly to the AFFCF Penson Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping and supporting foster children as they age out of the system, according to a release.

The Bobby Edd Penson Fund helps children ages 18-21 learn life skills and support themselves while furthering their education.

“My team and I have worked with Bobby Edd Penson Fund for over 10 years, and we are incredibly thankful for Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance for stepping up to the plate and providing extra funds to help the community when we need it most,” Ms. Gibson said in the release. “AFFCF Penson Fund has been significantly impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and the $5,000 donation will help them continue to make a difference to the community they serve.”

Many of those receiving help from the Penson Fund work in businesses closed by shelter-in-place orders and need help paying their utility bills, rent and food expenses. The Penson Fund is set to help these young adults through the difficult times, in addition to their normal support of providing computers and helping with everyday needs, the release states.

“The goal of the Emergency Community Support Grants is to help our independent agents make an immediate impact during this critical time in the local communities where they live and work,” Alexis Holzer, program lead for independent agent giving at Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance, said in the release.

Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance have a history in supporting local and national causes on the corporate level with the Liberty Mutual Foundation, Safeco Foundation, the employee involvement program Liberty Torchbearers, as well as through its Independent Agent Giving programs, the release states.

In addition to the $1 million in emergency community support grants, Liberty Mutual and Safeco Insurance already committed to invest $375,000 into local nonprofits in 2020 through the Independent Agent Giving programs, Make More Happen and Change Agents.

For more information, go to agentgiving.com.

About Kohlhase Insurance

Kohlhase Insurance was founded by Lee Kohlhase on April 1, 1978 as a family owned, full-service independent insurance agency.

Lori Gibson, Mr. Kohlhase's daughter, began working in the agency in 1998 and has since obtained her certified insurance counselor construction risk and insurance specialist designations. She is now president of Kohlhase Insurance, after Mr. Kohlhase's retirement in 2018.

The agency offers all lines of insurance, including personal, commercial, life, annuities and health. Go to kohlhaseins.com.

The AFFCF Penson Fund

The AFFCF Penson Fund is designed to help young men and women who have aged out of foster care, overcome emergency expenses that derail their education. These funds are not intended to be used for long-term, ongoing expenses.

Bob and Mary Ann Penson learned about AFFCF at a fundraising breakfast in 2009. Over time, their interest in helping children in foster care, particularly those aging out of care, grew stronger. The idea for the Bobby Edd Penson Award Fund was born of Bob and Mary Ann’s desire to help those youth, ages 18-21, who are enrolled in a post-secondary education program.

Mr. Penson died on April 14, 2016. The Bobby Edd Penson Award Fund was created to help young men and women, previously in foster care find their successful future. The Pensons’ wish is that these youth will have the training and support they need to excel in their chosen vocation --- certified nursing assistants, barbers, nursery school teachers, hair stylists and more.

Go to affcf.org/penson