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 champion causes that are important to the people of our State.
In 2007, the Governor's first year in office, 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 initiatives with her love of the arts by serving on the Art Advisory Committee for the Psychiatric Research Institute. Additionally, she welcomes the display of artwork by Arkansas artists in the Governor's Mansion 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 promotes 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. Her efforts also include creating better working and living environments for those with special needs, most recently producing 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 was honored as the organization's Woman of the Year. Her previous honors include being named Hospital Auxiliary Volunteer of the Year, receiving the CARTI Champion Award, the Arkansas Respiratory Health Association's Lung Health Advancement Award, the Paragon Award for volunteerism, the Just Communities of Arkansas Humanitarian of the Year award, and she was the recipient of the Interfaith Hospitality Network Homeless Advocate of the Year award.
Ginger serves on the board of the Arkansas Discovery Network, which is a collaboration of museums that promote inquiry and learning, and she is part of 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.