County Faces: Brenda Hall of Presque Isle
Throughout her life Brenda Hall, of Presque Isle, has been committed to helping people in need in her community and across the state of Maine. She currently works as a teacher’s aide in the infant/toddler program at Aroostook County Action Program. Hall has given back to many people through her professional and charitable work and gains inspiration from the friendships that have shaped who she is today.
From a young age, Hall’s parents instilled in her a love of community and volunteerism. She grew up in Augusta and joined Rainbow Girls, the youth division of Order of the Eastern Star, at age 12. OES is an international fraternal organization whose members participate in charitable work and service projects in their communities and at the state level.
As an adult, Hall became an official member of OES. In the past, she has been part of service projects that raised money for organizations such as Shriner’s Hospitals, the Alzheimer’s Association and the Masonic Youth Groups in Bangor and Portland.
Hall said that being a member of OES is like becoming a member of a large family.
“You get to know people and they do excellent work in the community and all over the state,” she said. “We call each other brothers and sisters. It becomes like a family when you attend the meetings and start participating in the functions.”
One of Hall’s many joys over the years has been working with children and youth organizations. After she and her husband Calvin moved from Boothbay Harbor to Aroostook County in 1980, Hall became involved with local chapter of Rainbow Girls, which has since disbanded. As a grand officer, she travelled throughout New England and the country for national events and functions.
During those early years in Aroostook County, Hall also started a daycare business out of her home in Westfield. She took care of her charges from the time they were toddlers until their pre-teen years. She considers helping children to be one of the most rewarding aspects of her adult life.
“I did it as a living, but I also enjoyed it tremendously,” Hall said, about her daycare years. “I think it’s the nurturing of young children that hopefully makes an impact on them to become good citizens.”
Hall continues to help children through her job at ACAP and her charitable work with OES. She is currently in line to become the grand matron for Maine in 2019. The grand matron holds office for one year and chooses the charitable work that OES will fulfill. When she enters that position, she will be the fourth grand matron from Aroostook County.
The culmination of Hall’s year as grand matron will be her Grand Chapter Session, a day of business meetings and other OES activities. She hopes to hold her session in Aroostook County.
Hall has lived in northern Maine for 37 years and is thankful for the support that her employers at ACAP have given her to pursue volunteer projects for OES.
“They’ve allowed me the flexibility to use my time to travel when I need to be downstate,” Hall said. “They’ve been supportive whenever I’ve talked about what I’m doing. We all have the same interests: working with children, providing education and a loving, safe environment.”
Helping others has always been part of Hall’s life in some way. After closing her daycare, she worked in real estate in the Presque Isle area for 14 years. She took pleasure in guiding clients toward the home that was right for them.
“I enjoyed helping people, especially young couples, find a home that they could raise a family in,” Hall said. “It was rewarding to help them at each step of the process.”
In the future, Hall wants to continue giving back to her community in any way she can. Whether she’s caring for children in Aroostook County or raising funds for a statewide organization, her contributions always carry special meaning.
“I think it has taught me to be humble and kind to others,” Hall said. “I would hope that if I was in need that someone would help me, so I like to think of it that way.”