Over my desk hangs a framed document signed by Governor Bob McDonnell when I was appointed in 2010 to the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia’s Board of Trustees. That was Bob McDonnell fitting a hand into a glove, and it had nothing to do with money or power. I didn’t ask to be appointed; in fact, I had never asked for any appointments in all my years of volunteering for the Republican Party.
So imagine my surprise in the spring of 2010 when I received a phone call asking for my resume. I was curious … why? I was told my name has been submitted by the Governor’s office to serve as a trustee at the outdoor, living museum in Staunton.
I went through the emotions of surprise, disbelief, and gratefulness. I had spent 16 years educating my children at home, and one of our outdoor classrooms had been the Frontier Culture Museum of Virginia with its hands-on learning opportunities, costumed historical interpreters, animals, authentic buildings, and the entire outdoor concept which made children more receptive to learning.
To then have the ability to offer my insight with the museum was something that Bob McDonnell provided. I had no money to be a big donor to him or them; instead, I offered the experience of a homeschool mom who had been an active leader in the local homeschool organization, and I offered the publicity of my writing and photo posts, sharing the learning experiences of the museum with homeschoolers throughout the Commonwealth and beyond.
My gratitude to this day is that the Governor recognized money did not always rule the world. Everyone brings a different talent to the table. Sometimes it’s money, and sometimes it’s far more. At a time when Bob McDonnell could have appointed someone who would possibly have donated big bucks to his campaign, he didn’t. It was in keeping with the character of the man I knew … principled, kind, fair, dedicated, hard worker … who looked beyond the dollar signs to see the individual attributes of those around him. For that I will always be thankful.
See Brian Kirwin’s post at Bearing Drift: The Bob McDonnell I Knew.