Spotlight on Epiphany League Development Chair, Brenda MacLean Spotlight on Epiphany League Development Chair, Brenda MacLean

Spotlight on Epiphany League Development Chair, Brenda MacLean

August 14, 2014

Brenda MacLean, Development Chair of the Epiphany League and Epiphany Center Board Member is one of the agency’s longest-serving, most dedicated volunteers. Passionate about giving back to the Bay Area community, Brenda has a master’s degree in counseling psychology and volunteers as a bereavement counselor on behalf of Marin Suicide Prevention & Community Counseling. 

1. When did your interest in service come about? I first got involved in service around 1979 when my children were in elementary school. I then joined the Board as a Trustee at Schools of the Sacred Heart where I chaired the Development Committee for many years. 

2. How did you decide to choose to volunteer your time on behalf of Epiphany Center? I initially learned about Epiphany Center from former League Member Katie Budge in 1999 when she invited me to tour the facility. I was really inspired by Epiphany Center’s mission to strengthen at-risk families and build brighter futures for children, so I became very involved.

3. What is your favorite memory from Epiphany Center? I think my favorite memory was when the longtime Auxiliary transitioned into the current Epiphany League initially led by Janet Ostler.  This change allowed us to expand the membership and increase volunteer participation. (The Epiphany League is a group of volunteers who raise funds on behalf of the agency’s at-risk women and children, plan service projects, and broaden community awareness of Epiphany Center.)

4. What have you learned during your time working with Epiphany Center?
I continue to be amazed by the resiliency of the women who come to Epiphany Center at the lowest ebb of their lives, and within a relatively short span of time, grow by leaps and bounds. It’s a wonderful testament to their personal courage.

5. What or who inspires you? In addition to Epiphany Center’s Executive Director Sister Estela, I am inspired by the agency’s staff members who are so committed to helping the women. I’m also inspired by the women themselves who overcome so many obstacles, both for their children’s sake and for their own mental health.

6. Of the five major Vincentian Values of Respect, Compassionate Service, Simplicity, Advocacy for the Poor, and Creativity, which one is your favorite to practice and why?
I think respect for others is my favorite because it is so ingrained in the agency. There is no judgment, and staff members treat everyone equally.

7. What do you enjoy most about volunteering here in the city of San Francisco?
Of course, I really enjoy any of the hands-on volunteer service projects.

8. What is your favorite spot in SF?
Having been a native San Franciscan, I love driving into the city from Marin, heading down the Waldo grade and seeing the beautiful cityscape come into view.

9. Where were you born? I’m a native San Francisco and was born at St. Mary’s Hospital.

 Are you interested in joining the Epiphany League?  Please contact Mary Rhoades at (415) 351 4055 or

The purpose of the Epiphany League is to raise funds to ensure holistic care for the most vulnerable women, children, and families in San Francisco, to directly benefit clients through service projects, and to broaden community awareness of Epiphany Center.