Hilton HR director seeks to help 'work family' left unemployed by fire

- "Feel free to share this post," wrote Lenora Olson, along with a long and comprehensive list of skills sets held by the now unemployed workers of the Hilton Sonoma Wine Country in Santa Rosa, destroyed by fire. 

More than 7,200 people did share. Thousands also reacted to the post and offered messages of hope and support.

Olson is the human resources director at the Hilton in Santa Rosa.

"We have about 130 employees that worked there as of last Sunday," she wrote on Oct. 12.

"Today we met with the displaced employees to answer questions, offer assistance and give them resources to assist them in their job search," Olson explained.

The jobs that are being sought cover a wide range of hospitality positions including dishwashers, cooks, bartenders, housekeepers, concierge, front desk associates, sales and marketing administrators, and general manager. 

People responded with suggestions for employment from all over the Bay Area and beyond, including Ukiah, Truckee, and even Tucson.

Those who didn't have any leads on jobs offered prayers. Other messages came from past guests who shared stories of how they enjoyed the staff and their stay at the hotel.

The Tubbs fire raced through the north side of town on Oct. 9, engulfing the 250 room Hilton as well as the nearby Fountaingrove Inn.

Olson's efforts and the overwhelming response that has followed are one of the numerous stories of hope and goodwill that have emerged amid the devastation and widespread loss from the Northern California wildfires.

The stories are of people helping people and stepping up, in any way they can. 

On Monday, Olson provided an update to her original post along with a message of deep gratitude.

"Thank you so much to the 7,500+ caring people that liked/loved/etc., shared, commented with hope + kindness + support, and reached out to me directly with job leads and kind words. Words cannot describe how much it means to me."

Olson promised to get back to each person who sent her a message.

She also said she would put together a list of the leads she's received and make it accessible to her co-workers.

In her original post, Olson described the staff at the Hilton "an amazing work family that I have had the privilege of working with."

She added that her hope is to see each one of them land new jobs and become a part of new work families. 

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