CA with tag line 

 525 N. State Street · Suite 4 · Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422


There is no greater battle on
 this planet than that  of protecting children.
If we don't support them we have no future generations.

#Sayquoteable

In This Issue
About Us 

Child Advocacy is a non-profit agency with a mission to improve the welfare of children and their families through education, training, and support for the prevention of substance abuse and child abuse and neglect.


 Our Staff
   
Audra Stahl 
President & CEO 
     
Pam Mahin
Office Manager

Staci Bigelow
Event/Volunteer Coordinator

Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Program Director

Chelsie Kastl
GCSAC Coordinator

Sara Krebs 
GCSAC Prevention
 Coordinator
 

Kelsey Wooten
 GCSAC Prevention Educator

Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director

 Richelle Davis 
CAN Prevention Educator
 
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Program Director    
 
Danielle Schmidtman
CASA Recruitment Coordinator
 
Heather Therrien  
CAC Program Director
 
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager

Mallory Harrier
CAC Intake Coordinator
 
 
Board of Directors  

President
Carolyn Studley
Community Represenative
   
Vice President 
Matt Schooley
City of Alma Transportation
 
Secretary
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central
   
Treasurer
Sara Bonacci
Sara Bonacci Photography

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
   
Jim Dubey
Garr Tool

Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions 

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
  
Jennifer Leppien
CASA

John Morey
CPA

Mike Morris
Detective/Sgt. Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
     
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
   
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency

Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
  
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Integrated Health Network

Wes Wickes
Central MI Youth for Christ

Mark Williams
Detective/Sgt.
Alma Police Depart.

Joe Yourchock
Community Representative


Car

Seat Safety

 

Did you know that at Child Advocacy we can install and provide a safety inspection for your child safety seat?  Child Advocacy has a nationally certified safety seat technician available!
To make an appointment call
 989-463-1422
 or 800-552-4489
Permanent Prescription Drug Drop Off
Site
 
Gratiot Co. Sheriff
226 E. Center
Ithaca
open 24 hrs./day
7 days/week
  
Alma Police Dept.
525 E. Superior St.
 Hours 
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
 
Breckenridge Police Dept.
 104 E. Saginaw St.
Hours
8:00 a.m.- 5:00  p.m.
Monday - Friday
 
St. Louis Police Dept.
108 W. Saginaw St.
Hours
Mon. 7 - 3 
Tues. - Fri. 8 - 4 
 
These sites accept
prescription pills and patches.
Program Needs

Gas Cards 
to help cover the cost for medical travel to Grand Rapids or help with transportation of foster children.

Gift Cards to Walmart and Meijer to purchase the specific needs of a child. 
 
Drawing Paper
Puzzles
New Children's Books
Play-dough
Games for younger children to play
Capri Sun Juice Boxes
Bottled Water

Baby Pantry
Diapers: Size 6 
Socks (all sizes)
Fitted Crib Sheets
Girls Clothing:
Sizes: 18-24M
3T, 4T, 5T, 6T
Purple Gentle Can Formula

 

Community donations help the quality of our programs and are greatly appreciated. Donations can be made directly at Child Advocacy or by contacting our office. (989) 463-1422

Your Feedback!

"Your staff let me into the Baby Pantry to grab a few things for the mom I told you about. Just wanted to say thank you and WOW! I had no idea what you guys offered. This is a wonderful asset to our community. Thank you again."

Child Protective Services Ongoing Services Case Manager

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month, a time to recognize that we each play a part in promoting the social and emotional well-being of children and families in our communities. Child Advocacy will have pinwheel gardens again this year throughout Gratiot County and other events planned to support Prevention Month. Full details below.
 
Also this month is our Alumni Basketball game. New this year, a double header adding in two more local schools! Come join the fun and help support child abuse and neglect prevention! 


Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter,
Staci Bigelow
Volunteer/Event Coordinator 
Check out our website www.linkforfamilies.org .
Upcoming Events
  
 
Wear Blue Mondays 
Every Monday in April
Wear blue to show your support for child abuse and neglect prevention. Send us your photos and we'll feature you on our Facebook page.
 
 
Alma College Pinwheel Garden Kickoff
Tuesday, April 3rd
3:00 p.m.
Alma College Campus
The pinwheel is the recognized symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention. It also symbolizes the belief that every child has the right to grow and flourish to their full potential in a nurturing environment.
 

Child Advocacy Lunch and Learn 
Tuesday, April 12th
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Alma Public Library
From prevention to intervention: Find out more about what Child Advocacy is doing, and what you can do to help counter child abuse and neglect in Gratiot County.
This is a free event open to the public. Lunch is provided. RSVP to (989)463-1422.
 
 
Charity Basketball Game
NEW THIS YEAR!! DOUBLE HEADER!!
Friday, April 13th
Event starts at 6:30pm.
Alma High School Gymnasium  

Game 1: Ithaca vs. Breckenridge Alumni
Game 2: Alma  vs. St. Louis Alumni 

We are looking for Alma, Ithaca, St. Louis, and Breckenridge Alumni who played Varsity Boys Basketball to play in this years charity game. Please contact Staci@linkforfamilies.org if you are interesting in playing. Please send your Name, School, Graduation Year, and Shirt Size!

$5 at the door. All proceeds to benefit Child Advocacy's Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs.
 
 
Mom to Mom Sale
Saturday, April 14
10:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Donald L. Pavlik Middle School - Alma
 
New and gently used children's clothes, toys, games, books, and large items available at this twice-annual community event. Admission is $2.00, proceeds benefit CMYFC and Child Advocacy.

For booth information please visit cmyfc.net/mom2mom or to stay up-to-date with all future Mom2Mom sale information visit facebook.com/cmyfcmom2mom.


Child Advocacy Banquet
Join us as we celebrate those who advocate and care for children and for those who strive to improve the welfare of children and their families! 
 
Wednesday, May 23 
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.   
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma
 
Please call the Child Advocacy office at (989) 463-1422 to purchase tickets in advance.
 
 
Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Day
Monday, April 25th
11:00 a.m.
State Capital Lawn, Lansing
Organizations, advocates, and Michigan residents join forces on the Capital steps in a statewide effort to raise awareness about child abuse and neglect.
This event is open to the public.
Countering Child Abuse
Submitted by: Heather Therrien
CAC Program Director
 
 
Over the past several months, child sexual abuse has garnered significant media attention. Lawmakers here in Michigan are working to strengthen sexual abuse-related legislation. Advocacy groups are working tirelessly to raise awareness about how to prevent abuse from happening and how to intervene when abuse is suspected.
 
Nearly 90% of cases at the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County involve allegations of sexual abuse and 93% of alleged offenders are known to their victims (74% are family members). Nationally, only about one third of child sexual abuse incidents are identified and even fewer are reported.  
 
In addition to teaching our children how to protect themselves, there is a compelling need for adults to understand the dynamics of sexual and physical child abuse, to know the signs and symptoms of abuse and to report it when they suspect abuse is happening. We do not need proof to report abuse; only reasonable suspicion.
 
If you are uncertain what to look for or how to report abuse, the staff at Child Advocacy facilitates discussions and delivers individualized presentations and training for any interested person, group, or organization in Gratiot County. To find out more about these available resources, contact Heather or Morgan at 989 463 1422.
 
To immediately report abuse, contact the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Centralized Intake for Abuse and Neglect at 855-444-3911.
 Child Advocacy is happy to announce the InterFraternity Council (IFC) at Alma College has chosen to partner with Child Advocacy and work with us to support our efforts and programs. We are looking forward to this partnership, and everything to come. Thank you IFC!
Medical Marihauna Facilities
Submitted by: Ty Warczinsky
GCSAC Program Director

 
The City of Alma is considering the prospect of passing an ordinance that would allow large-scale Medical Marihuana facilities within the city limits. Passing the ordinance as it is currently written would involve the unlimited production and transportation of marihuana as well as 5 dispensaries. 
 
There was a public hearing on March 12th to hear the public opinion on this draft ordinance. At the hearing, the decision was made to put the ordinance on hold to further educate the residents of Alma and allow the City Commission to weigh in on the ordinance. Another public hearing will be scheduled in the near future. 
 
GCSAC recognizes the economic opportunity available to the Marihuana Enterprises, and hopes to offer a balanced portrayal of the potential impacts on our community if large scale medical marihuana businesses are permitted in Gratiot County. Below is more information on the impact of a medical marijuana ordinance.
 
Why approving a medical marihuana ordinance may not be the best choice.
  • Marihuana is a DEA Schedule 1 drug, which means it is an abused/addictive drug and is not a proven, research-based safe and effective medicine for any disease or condition.
  • Medical Conditions reported for patients holding a Medical Marihuana Card in Michigan:
    • Cancer 4.47%
    • Glaucoma 1.45%
    • Seizures 2.12%
    • Severe & Chronic Pain 92.86%
    • Largest age group with Medical Marihuana Card ages 24-35
  • US Surgeon General Jerome Adams says marihuana is not one substance. "It's actually over 100 different substances, some of which benefit, some of which are harmful. I don't want 10 years down the road where we're seeing an epidemic of lung cancer among folks who are smoking medical marihuana."
  • Marihuana use is detrimental for a young person's developing brain. Use of marihuana by teens is associated with poor school outcomes, lower IQ, poor memory, worsening psychiatric conditions and behavior problems. Research shows that years of chronic marihuana use can lead to changes on brain scans and increased risk of schizophrenia.
  • Marihuana is recommended, not prescribed.
  • Marihuana is illegal at the federal level and banks will not do business with marihuana licensees dispensaries therefore they are cash only. Large amounts of drugs and cash can attract crime.
  • In Michigan, pot doctors often open offices and see only medical marihuana patients as a specialty, similar to pain clinics, and recommend marihuana for any disease or condition.
  • California Police Chiefs examined the adverse effects of medical marihuana dispensaries on local communities and concluded that they may be associated with crime, loitering, people smoking marihuana in public, parking and traffic problems and may contribute to a secondary black market with illegal diversion of drugs.
  • Other research shows increased youth and young adult marihuana use rates, drugged driving, domestic violence and child abuse/neglect especially in areas dense with dispensaries.
  • Citizens are concerned about the location of the facilities and how they affect neighborhood and property values.
  • Marihuana dispensaries have negative impacts:  odors, trash, security concerns (cash only business, drug sales), parking, traffic, attract crime, crowd issues, signs, marketing, deliveries are allowed 24/7.
  •  Hydroponic marihuana farms use large amounts of water and electricity as well as pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals that might have a negative impact on the environment.  They require intense lighting, huge fans and ventilation systems (noise), can attract crime, industrial traffic, security includes armed guards, video cameras, and security fences.
  • In other states, many cities, townships, and villages have imposed moratoriums on businesses related to medical marihuana cultivation, processing and dispensing. Cities, townships, and villages need more time to look at issues such as hours of sale, cost of permits, conditions of use. Residents rights must be protected.
  • In other states that have passed medical marihuana amendments, teens use marihuana at higher rates, marihuana-related emergency room visits increase, child pot poisonings and drugged driving fatalities rise. Businesses and drug free workplaces can be adversely affected.
Scheduled Classes
 

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, April 10
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
East Superior Christian Church - Alma

Please call our office to RSVP at (989)463-1422 or email morgan@linkforfamilies.org.

 
Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, April 9
1:00 p.m.
RESD - Ithaca
Please call Sara at 989-463-1422 with any questions
 
 
The Baby Pantry
Every Wednesday
11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Building - Alma

For more information about the Baby Pantry please contact Morgan Rooy at (989)463-1422.


Prevention training that teaches adults how to prevent, recognize, and react responsibly to child sexual abuse. This program is designed for organizations that serve youth and for individuals concerned about the safety of children. 

Tuesday, April 17th 12:30-3:00 p.m. 
or
Monday, April 30th 5:30-8:00 p.m.
Alma Public Library - Art & Carra Smith Meeting Room
500 E. Superior St. - Alma

Registration is required, space is limited to 25 participants in each session.  A $5 fee will be charged per person to cover partial costs of workbooks.

Please contact Morgan Rooy at morgan@linkforfamilies.org or by calling (989)463-1422 to register.


CASA Volunteer Training
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) will be hosting a volunteer training session from:
Tuesday, April 17th - Tuesday, May 22nd. All sessions will be from 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. at the Wilcox Non-Profit Center in Alma.

Please contact Michelle at  michelle@linkforfamilies.org
or (989)463-1422 for more information or to complete an application to become a CASA!
Wow!  This newsletter is packed full of great information!  We hope you will join us for one of our events and/or classes this month.  It's going to be a great month with lots of FUN! 

   
Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
President & CEO