After the births of their eldest children, Mary became a full-time mom and began volunteering in Topeka for United Way, Junior League of Topeka, Red Cross of Topeka, and Meals on Wheels, she also volunteered at church and her children’s schools. Sam and Mary have five children: Abby, Andy, Liz, Mark, and Jenna.
Mary has been a passionate advocate for adoption, and has worked tirelessly to bring attention to adoption and children’s issues. Mary runs the Building Families Fund, which awards grants to people who are adopting children domestically or internationally. Sam and Mary have two adopted children: Mark Brownback was born in Guatemala, and Jenna Brownback was born in China.
Since becoming First Lady, Mary has also become an advocate for improved literacy, she started the Kansas Book Festival Fund in January 2011, and is an enthusiastic supporter of health and wellness initiatives.
Mary is a loyal fan of the Kansas Jayhawks and enjoys exploring ways to be active in the Kansas outdoors.