Long before she was First Lady of Arkansas, Ginger Beebe exemplified volunteerism. From reading to children to promote literacy and raising awareness about mental health issues, to advocating for people with special needs as well as supporting the arts, she continues to support causes that are important to the people of our State.
In 2007, Ginger conducted a listening tour with families whose children suffer from mental illness, and she continues her involvement with the National Alliance on Mental Illness in Arkansas by chairing NAMI Walks each year.
The First Lady combines her mental health initiative with her love of the arts by serving on the Art Advisory Committee for the Psychiatric Research Institute. Additionally, she welcomes the display of works by Arkansas artists in the State’s home and works with numerous organizations to promote Arkansas artists and artisans.
Ginger is currently involved with groups that share her goal of reducing childhood obesity. She served as honorary chair of the Natural Wonders Partnership Council, an Arkansas Children’s Hospital group that addresses the health needs of children in our State. Ginger is working with other leaders to promote First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. She advocates the importance of maintaining a healthy diet and regular exercise when she visits school children.
Her work with the homeless—both individually and through organizations such as Our House—demonstrates her caring spirit. She also works to create better working and living environments for those with special needs, most recently creating an audio tour of the Governor’s Mansion herb garden for use by blind and visually impaired visitors.
The wife of Arkansas’s forty-fifth Governor, Mike Beebe, Ginger was born in Little Rock and raised in Searcy before moving to the Governor’s Mansion. Being adopted as a child motivated her passion for women’s and children’s issues. She is a member of the Advisory Board for Women and Children First, and in 2011, she will be honored as the organization’s Woman of the Year. Her previous honors include being named Hospital Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year, CARTI Champion Award, receiving the Arkansas Respiratory Health Association’s Lung Health Advancement Award, the Paragon Award for volunteerism, and recipient of the Interfaith Hospitality Network Homeless Advocate of the Year.
Ginger serves on the board of the Women’s Foundation of Arkansas and speaks annually at the foundation’s Girls of Promise seminars. She is also a board member of the Arkansas Discovery Network, a collaboration of museums that promotes inquiry learning; and the Creative Economy Advisory Panel, a multiyear project funded by the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation to assess, promote, and enhance Arkansas’s creative economy.
First Lady Ginger Beebe believes that each of us has the power to make a difference in the lives of others. She encourages all Arkansans to volunteer their time in the service of others.