Member Raising Money to Aid Typhoon Victims

Laura Olson Will Help Rebuild Homes in Philippines

Typhoon Haiyan leveled the Philippines when it hit in November. SEA member Laura Olson is heading to Ormoc, on the island of Leyte, to help rebuild homes.

When Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines in November, Laura Olson said she immediately knew she needed to help with recovery.

Laura Olson

Laura Olson

“When it was happening, I knew in my heart I had to go, something just told me I had to go,” said Olson, an SEA member and labor inspector with the state Department of Labor.

A short time later, her church began organizing a mission to help rebuild homes in the city of Ormoc on the island of Leyte, and Olson quickly signed up. To be able to go, though, she needs to raise a total of $3,000 (she’s raised $1,000, so far) by Feb. 8. She’s put out an appeal for help to her fellow SEA members.

“I’d like to ask them to help the Filipinos who are living in rubble, without food, shelter or clothing,” she said. “If they’re not able to help financially and they have it in their heart to pray, I really welcome the prayers and wishes for safe travels for our team.”

If you’d like to help support her mission, you can do so online or via mail. On the web, you can visit and select Laura’s name from the drop-down list. Otherwise, you can mail a check to Grace Capital Church, 14 Beacon St. East, Laconia, 03246. Be sure to mark “Philippines Mission Trip” in the lower left corner of the envelope, and add a note in the envelope that you’re supporting Laura Olson.

In the Philippines alone, the storm left 6,200 dead with another 1,800 still missing; 28,000 were injured and millions were left homeless. In spite of what the team is facing, Olson said she’s not scared.

“I wasn’t even unnerved when they told me what I’d be facing over there,” she said. “There’s no sanitation, no utilities, probably no bathing facilities. I’m bringing baby wipes and having my hair cut off. We’re heading into complete devastation and rubble.”

She has already gotten inoculations for typhoid fever, hepatitis A, tetanus and whooping cough. In addition, she’ll be taking anti-malaria pills. The trip includes a 30-hour flight to Manila, and another flight to Tacloban before driving the rest of the way to Ormoc. She said they’ll be packing light.

“We’re just bringing one carry-on each, so that’s it,” she said. “Basically, underwear, socks and bug spray.”

In addition to raising money for her own travel expenses, Olson has also been busy seeking donations of items for a silent auction that the church is holding along with a dinner to raise money for the mission.

Olson said everyone she works with has been supportive of her. She said it’s important for us to support others in their time of need.

“If it happened to us, I’d hope people would come and help us out,” she said.

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