From "Iowa Mom": I wanted to update your "One Convert At A Time" June 2nd story:
As the mom of one of the "3 Iowa Boys" staying in the Marriott hotel last week, I have to tell you how wonderful everyone from NASA was to these boys. When we put up the "We love NASA" sign we thought that maybe, if we were lucky, someone would put up a sign back to the boys and end of story. To arrive in our hotel room and find a package left by NASA amazed and thrilled my sister, all 3 boys and myself.
Later that day we went to visit NASA's gift shop, only to discover it had closed for the day. An employee, Mike Chambers, saw us standing there and told us to wait there. He came back several minutes later with a few more things for the boys. He also suggested we come back the next day and visit the library. He gave us his name and office phone number in case we had trouble visiting the library.
A security guard, Officer Gibson, then came up to us and offered pins for the boys, which we declined, feeling we'd been given enough already. The boys were looking at the display in the library, which had been turned off for the day. Another employee walked over and turned in back on and told the boys to enjoy it. The next day we visited the gift shop. We were looking for a copy of a book that Michael Cabbage had sent to our hotel room. Since the boys are cousins, we wanted a copy that so that one could stay with my son and one with my two nephews. As we were asking about the book in the gift shop, another NASA employee suggested we visit the NASA library. He took us to security and made sure we were able to get in to visit.
The kindness of strangers was unbelievable! While we were waiting to get in, the same security guard from the night before saw us and handed us the pins we'd turned down the night before and also made sure all was okay for us to get into the library. Upon entering the library, the librarians saw the "Iowa" shirts the boys were wearing that day and showed us the NASA Watch web site. We were amazed that our sign had been posted for all to see (and made us wish we'd have had bigger paper and took more time to make a nicer sign!).
The librarians showed the 3 boys many interesting things in the library and gave them more NASA things. They showed us web site that would be helpful for school projects. They were amazing. Thanks to Richard Spencer and Craig Levin. We were there at the end of the day and it was actually past their time to get off work, yet they spent extra time talking with our children and answering their questions.
Before we left, Officer Gibson told us to come back the next night as she had one more thing she wanted to give the boys. We went back the next night and she had little squishy space men to give the boys. She was so very kind. The morning before we left I went to the NASA gift shop one more time to buy a NASA duffle bag, only to see Officer Gibson working. She was talking to another little boy and his father, and had made sure they got NASA pins. It's obvious she's kind to all the visitors at NASA. What a great person to have met!
We were truly overwhelmed by the kindness shown by the NASA employees we encountered. We never met Michael Cabbage, yet we appreciate that he sent over the book and other items to our hotel room. Mike Chambers, Officer Gibson, Richard Spencer and Craig Levin, as well as the unknown employee who made sure we could get in the library, the unknown employee who turned on the display for the boys, all went out of their way to be kind to "3 Iowa Boys" from the hotel across the street.
After returning home we've been telling people that our experience in Washington D.C. was great and we met all sorts of wonderful people who were very helpful, yet it's the people at NASA Headquarters who went way above and beyond anything we'd have ever expected to make us feel welcome. They definitely have converted all of us! Thanks to everyone we encountered.