After the storm hit with terrible fury, Olga soon learned she was not alone.
A resident of Barili, Cebu, Olga was among the many Filipinos affected by the catastrophic Typhoon Odette that hit the Philippines on December 16, 2021. The major storm wreaked havoc on her hometown, completely destroying her house.
Olga and her family were without electricity for three months and without internet for a month. The typhoon disrupted the delivery of essential goods and services, leaving Olga and her family without access to food and water.
Olga, who works for HireSmart Virtual Employees, which links virtual assistants from the Philippines with U.S. businesses, faced significant challenges communicating with her clients and colleagues. She had to travel over four hours to get to the nearest city with network reception to update her U.S. client and the HireSmart team.
However, when Mark and Anne Lackey, owners of HireSmart Virtual Employees, found out about her situation, they immediately extended their help through their non-profit organization, HireSmart Cares. They provided funds to repair Olga's house and sent a generator to provide electricity. She also received her salary in advance so she could buy groceries and water from the city and take them to the province where she lived.
According to Olga, HireSmart went beyond its duties as her employer. They were constantly checking up on her and offering assistance.
"They were very considerate that I may not be able to get in touch with them right away," Olga said. "They were emailing and messaging me through Skype to check if there is anything they can help me with for my family to survive the devastation of the typhoon."
For Olga, HireSmart is more than just an employer. They have become her family, offering her the support and care she needs during the most challenging times of her life.
"I found my family here at HireSmart," said Olga. "They always make sure they are able to extend help when needed. This is what I was looking for from my previous jobs — being treated as part of a family. It is more than just improving my life."