Mary Mackintosh

Social Justice Advocate Mary Mackintosh to be Honored at The Counseling Center’s Spring Gala

By Ellen Edwards, Board Member, The Counseling Center

The Counseling Center, a nonprofit group of mental health care professionals based in Bronxville and serving lower Westchester and the Bronx, has the great privilege of honoring social justice advocate Mary Mackintosh at its Spring Gala, to be held on May 3rd at the Siwanoy Country Club at 6 p.m.  Cocktails and a sit-down dinner will be followed by a live auction and paddle raise.

A longtime resident of Bronxville, Mary has advocated for youth and the underserved in a variety of positions over many decades.  Mary and her husband Stuart live in the Bronxville home they bought in 1987 where they raised three sons who are now in their late 20s.  Currently, Mary is Director of Missional Engagement at the Reformed Church of Bronxville (RCB), where she designs and manages service programs with local and international mission partners and rolls up her sleeves to serve alongside people working in their own neighborhoods. 

Mary seeks to engage Bronxville residents in recognizing the challenges faced by our surrounding communities in lower Westchester and working with nonprofit organizations to improve the lives of our close neighbors. Mission volunteers at RCB, led by Mary, currently work with over 20 mission partners in southern Westchester and several organizations overseas. She especially enjoys the chance to engage with people of all backgrounds in our wider community and find ways to link the needs of mission partners with the gifts of church members and others in the Bronxville area. “Working as Director of Missional Engagement at The Reformed Church pulls together my legal and social work background, as well as my nonprofit connections, and adds a spiritual element to serving others in our own southern Westchester communities,” says Mary.

Throughout her working life, Mary has been an active volunteer. She has served as a Trustee of World Learning, the Near East Foundation, and the Bronxville Library. For the past twenty years, Mary has advocated for students and their families in her position as Trustee and volunteer for the East Harlem Tutorial Program, a K-12 afterschool program that now includes five charter schools, including the first state-of-the-art high school in Harlem. Mary also worked with Judge George McKinnis to develop Bronxville’s Community Restorative Justice program, which sought to provide support services rather than jailtime for convicted youth.

You might say that Mary’s involvement with Crossing Thresholds, a long-time RCB mission partner, which builds schools and supports children in the poorest neighborhoods of Kenya, began when she was a child and fell in love with the African Continent while reading her grandparents’ National Geographic magazines.  Mary studied at the University of Ghana and worked in Tanzania and Botswana when she was in her 20s, nurturing her commitment to support education and child development in Africa. As a trustee of Crossing Thresholds, she makes about two trips to Nairobi each year, engaging in work that includes encouraging teachers to promote the social and emotional wellbeing of students by replacing outmoded methods of discipline with supportive approaches that address trauma and other causes of misbehavior.  

Mary loves her work at the Reformed Church, which she says, “brings together elements of everything I have learned and experienced in my eclectic career.” She shares laughter and tears with those she serves and experiences the pangs of separation when they move on to fuller lives. The connections she makes, the partnerships she forms, reflect a living out of our call to love our neighbor—whether that neighbor lives across the street, in the next community, or on the other side of the world. 

“The Counseling Center’s commitment to serving all people seeking emotional wellness aligns with my strong belief that mental health services should not be a luxury only for those who can afford it,” says Mary.  “My own work to support young people, advocate for those in need, and build bridges in our community dovetails with the mental health care services provided by The Counseling Center.  I especially endorse the Center’s fee subsidy program, which offers therapy to scores of clients who could not otherwise afford it.  This vital resource changes lives, providing relief to people in pain and hope to those who have lost it.”  

Funds raised at the gala will support The Center’s fee subsidy program, which allows the staff to provide essential services, including psychotherapy, marriage counseling, and family and child therapy, to those who are unable to afford full-fee treatment. The Counseling Center offers assistance to members of the community who are struggling with consuming anxiety and difficult life issues; it seeks to help clients transform their greatest challenges into opportunities for growth, empowerment, and fulfillment.

Not all of this year’s live auction items have been finalized, but so far, they include tickets to this spring’s hot Broadway show “Cabaret,” a multi-course tasting menu with wine for six people at Underhill’s Crossing, lunch with our own Mayor Mary Marvin, and two suite tickets plus parking to a regular season game for either the New York Giants or New York Jets at MetLife Stadium. Once again, professional auctioneer Erin Ward will also lead a spirited paddle raise.  

The Counseling Center wishes to express its enormous gratitude to the generous benefactors, underwriters, and sponsors of this year’s Spring Gala.  Please see the names of donors at the end of this article.

There are several ways to purchase tickets to the gala or make a donation: Go to, call The Counseling Center at 914-793-3388.