Driven by fierce winds, Southern California's wildfires have forced the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of residents. As of the writing of this post, five separate blazes have been reported:
The Thomas Fire – 90,000 acres burned
The Creek Fire – 12,000 acres burned
The Rye Fire – 7,000 acres burned
The Skirball Fire – 475 acres burned
The Little Mountain Fire – 260 acres burned
A member of our CoverHound family, Nestor, was one of those forced to evacuate his home. While anxiously waiting to hear news about the state of his home, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced it was canceling school in the wake of the fires. With school canceled, working parents like Nestor were left without childcare options. Given the extraordinary set of circumstances, finding a last-minute babysitter would be impossible.
Not knowing how long schools would be closed, we knew we had to do something to help Nestor and our other hard-working parents. We couldn't sit back and let our employees face this alone. We quickly hatched a plan: we would offer our parents the opportunity to bring their children to work for the duration of the schools' closures. With the assistance of our HR Generalist Jessica and Office Manager Megan, we transformed one of our suite's boardroom into a child-friendly playroom.
Inspired by the company's moves to help its employees, Ron, our Technical Project Manager, shared the news with his family Wednesday evening. The story inspired his daughter Emily, a well-experienced babysitter. Emily quickly volunteered to help entertain the children while their parents were at work. Emily, along with Jessica and Megan, has created a space of fun, comfort, and smiles. When they're not watching movies, Megan leads the children in games and sing-a-longs.
Nestor is grateful for the extra help. "The child-friendly play area has helped alleviate a lot of the stress," Nestor says. "The fact that the company offers this is a HUGE help to myself and my family. I am so grateful to work for an organization that offers this kind of help."
Another of CoverHound's employees, Blanca, couldn't agree more, "I didn't learn until the night before that my son's school had canceled classes. All I could think was, ‘what am I going to do?' When the company announced they were going to offer us extra help for the days the schools are closed, it brought me joy and peace of mind."
Megan, Jessica, and Emily are enjoying looking after the kids too. "The kids are so well-behaved and I am so happy to do what I can to help," Megan says. "Later this afternoon, we're going to walk to the pond and watch the koi fish."
We value our employees and want to do all that we can to support them. So long as the schools are closed, our parents have a safe place to bring their children.