CA with tag line 

 525 N. State Street · Suite 4 · Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422
Life is like a book.
Some chapters are sad, some happy, and some exciting.
But if you never turn the page, you will never know what the next chapter holds.
Wishing you the best chapter yet in this coming  New Year!
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 
Executive Director
Pam Mahin
Office Manager
Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Coordinator
Sara Krebs 
Coalition Coordinator 
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Coordinator    
Heather Therrien  
CAC Coordinator
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager

Mallory Harrier
CAC Intake Coordinator
Staci Bigelow
Event/Volunteer Coordinator

Morgan Rooy
CAN Coordinator 
Board of Directors  

Carolyn Studley
Community Represenative
Vice President 
Matt Schooley
City of Alma Transportation
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central
Sara Bonacci
Sara Bonacci Photography
Steve Benn
MI State Police

Wendy Currie 
Mid MI District Health Dept

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

John Morey

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 Co. Comm. Mental Health 

Wes Wickes
Central MI Youth for Christ

Mark Williams
Alma Police Depart.

Joe Yourchock
Community Representative


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
 or 800-552-4489
Permanent Prescription Drug Drop Off
Gratiot Co. Sheriff
226 E. Center
open 24 hrs./day
7 days/week
Alma Police Dept.
525 E. Superior St.
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
Breckenridge Police Dept.
 104 E. Saginaw St.
8:00 a.m.- 5:00  p.m.
Monday - Friday
St. Louis Police Dept.
108 W. Saginaw St.
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


New Children's Books


Games for younger children to play

Capri Sun Juice Box's

Bottled Water

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!

"Thank you so much for including me in such a wonderful experience."

- Laura Bowers
Central Michigan Correctional Facility
Participant of our 2016 Shop with a Hero event.

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List

Time to ring in the New Year! 

Child Advocacy has lots to offer in 2017! See below for details on our upcoming FREE Family Carnival and Expo, Princess and Pirates Party and Trivia Night The Sequel.

We also have a Nurturing Parenting Program beginning this month, please call our office for details.

Child Advocacy Staff
Check out our website .
Upcoming Events

Free Family Carnival & Expo
Saturday, January 28, 2017
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Central Michigan Youth for Christ 
2550 W. Cheesman Road - Alma   

FREE admission to all Gratiot County Residents! FREE Refreshments! FREE kids activities! FREE information for families!

For more information please contact Child Advocacy at (989)463-1422, or for vendor registration information click here.

Princess & Pirate Party
Sunday, February 12, 2017
Youth for Christ - Alma

Draw Bridge opens at 3:00 p.m. and closes at 4:30 p.m.
Princesses, Princes, Kings, Queens, Captains, Pirates, and Mermaids are all welcome! Princess and Pirate attire encouraged, but not required.

Tickets -$10 a person in advance
$15 at the door

Photo Opportunities with real Princesses, Snacks, Games, Treasure, Updo's, and MORE...........

All proceeds to benefit the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County. 

CASA Trivia Night  The Sequel
Saturday, March 4, 2017
Alma Elks Lodge # 1400 - Alma
Doors open at 6:30, Trivia Play begins at 7:30

No Silent Auction, No Big Production, No Kidding
Just Trivia!

Team tables now available. Click here to print a registration form, for more information please contact Michelle at (989)463-1422.

Foster Care
Written by: Rachel Hillestad
Submitted by: Michelle Zombeck
CASA Coordinator

It took his left-behind toothbrush to undo me. I'm sitting here in a parking lot sobbing my guts out. He was mine for two and a half weeks, but those days and nights I saw him smile, sleep through the night instead of freezing awake in terror, swing for hours on the swings my kids take for granted. He called me Mama and I told him every time I left that if I said I would come back, I would. I prepared him for his new home as well as I could, but now it's nap time and his new mo m says he misses me. I texted her a picture to show him.

The number one thing people say to me is, "I could never do foster care. I would get too attached." Guess what: I'm just like you. I "got attached". I was the only one who could get him to sleep or knew exactly what kind of jam he liked on his toast. I got frustrated when he broke Christmas ornaments. I watched him as he slept.

My answer to those people who say that is this: I absolutely get attached. I wonder where they are now. They visit me in my dreams, and sometimes I wake up with a wet face. It hurts. Sometimes in those moments it hurts to breathe. You know what I know even MORE, though? I'd rather these sweet babies know my love than never know it. I would carry their hurt inside my own adult heart if it meant there was less in their tiny sad one.

There is absolutely no reason that an eight year old who watched his mother be murdered not know the love of a stranger. It's absolutely criminal that a two year old sit in a social worker's office for two days in dirty clothes because I'm afraid I'd get too attached. I got attached. Getting attached has been the greatest pleasure and honor of my entire life.

Not only are foster parents needed in this community so are Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). A CASA advocate stands by a child through the duration of their case and acts as their voice advocating on their behalf.

To learn more about CASA and what you can do for a child in care contact Child Advocacy at 989-463-1422. 

Princess and Pirates Party
By: Mallory Harrier
CAC Intake Coordinator

Mark your calendars, tell your friends! The annual Princess and Pirates Party is coming up soon. For those of you who haven't attended this exciting event in the past, it's a great way to spend a fun filled afternoon benefiting the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County.

The event will take place on February 12, 2017 at Youth for Christ in Alma. Draw Bridge opens at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are available in advance for $10 at Child Advocacy or $15 at the door. There will be photo opportunities with real Princesses, snacks, games, treasures, up-dos, and more! Princesses, Princes, Kings, Queens, Captains, Pirates, and Mermaids are all welcome.

  If you are interested in sponsoring a craft station, the cost is $200, and you will receive a family 4 pack of tickets. If you have any questions or would like to be a sponsor, please contact our office at (989) 463-1422.

We look forward to seeing you there!  
Shop with a Hero

Our 5th annual Shop with a Hero was a huge success! Thank you to  Gratiot County Community Foundation,  Optimist Club of Gratiot County,  Alma Meijer,  Alma Wal-mart,  MI State Police,  Sara Bonacci Photography,LLC,  Miller Auto Sales Inc.,  all of our Heros, and our wonderful volunteers! 
With all of this support, we were able to touch the lives of 55 children in Gratiot County! 
Scheduled Classes

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, January 10
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
New Location: East Superior Christian Church - Alma
Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for the class.

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday January 9
1:00 p.m.
Youth for Christ 
2550 W. Cheesman Rd. 
Alma, MI 48801

Please call Sara at 989-463-1422 with any questions

Nurturing Parenting Program
For Parents and Their School Age Children(5-11 years old)
January 12, 19, 26, February 2, 9, 16, 23, March 2, 9, 16
5:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
Dinner will be provided
First United Methodist Church
116 S. Franklin St. 
St. Louis, MI 48880

Free Training presented by Child Advocacy and Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition

10-Session Group-Based Program for Both Parents and Children that Teaches:
  • How to increase empathy
  • Nurturing ways to encourage appropriate behaviors
  • Building Self-esteem and self-concept
  • How to have fun as a family

Contact Morgan Rooy at Child Advocacy to Register


Thanks to you 2016 was a fantastic year!

*55 Children participated in a county-wide Shop with a Hero event!
*60 Children participated in Dance Experience 2016! Most participants are considered high risk.
*903 Children received body safety lessons through the Protect Yourself Program!
*101 Children received a Forensic Interview through the Children's Advocacy Center!
*90 Children were given a brand new car seat!
*Dozens of teenagers received the "It's all about being a teen" program in Gratiot County High Schools!
*Our staff planned and hosted; Trivia Night, an Alumni Basketball Game, 5K Event, an art show, Family Carnival and Expo, awareness nights, Suicide Prevention trainings, community events, and the ever popular Princess and Pirate's Party!
*We welcomed 4 new staff members, 3 new CASA volunteers, and 3 new Board Members to our team!
*Countless referrals were made, dozens of training hours completed, thousands of phone calls made, meetings were attended, dollars were raised, and LIVES were changed!

If you aren't sure if your donations to Child Advocacy make a difference, please let me assure you that to the thousands of children and their families that we serve YOU do make a difference!  We are proud to tell you that we don't charge our families for any of the services we provide. 

A heartfelt thank you from our family to yours! 
Please help us to make 2017 our biggest and best year yet!

Audra Stahl
Executive Director