CA with tag line 

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




"All children deserve great childhoods because our children are our future."  
 
 - Prevent Child Abuse America

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
 
Emily Whipple
GCSAC Coordinator

Sara Krebs 
GCSAC Prevention
 Coordinator
 
 
Alexa Morton
 GCSAC Prevention Educator
 
Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director
 
 Richelle Davis 
CAN Prevention Educator

Jennifer Leppien
CAN Parenting Coach
 
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Program Director    
 
Rachel Letsche
CASA Recruitment Coordinator
 
Heather Therrien  
CAC Program Director

Jennifer Stambaugh
CAC Victim Advocate
 
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager

Nikky Holton
CAC Intake Coordinator
 
 
Board of Directors  

President
Carolyn Studley
Community 
Representative
   
Vice President 
Steve Vernon
Gratiot Integrated Health Network

Secretary
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency
   
Treasurer
Sara Bonacci
Community 
Representative

Garth Anderson
Commercial Bank

Brett Baublitz
Transportation Director/City of Alma

Annette Collison
Kahn Consulting, INC.

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
   
Jim Dubey
Garr Tool

Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions 

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
 
John Morey
CPA

Mike Morris
Gratiot County Undersheriff
     
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri-Lakes Petroleum
 
Mark Williams
Alma Public Safety Administrator 

Kim Vetter
Michigan State Police

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   Please see new carseat guidelines on our website.
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.  
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.
300 N. Mill 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
Puzzles
New Children's Books
Play-dough
Games for younger children to play
Capri Sun Juice Boxes
Bottled Water

Baby Pantry

Infant Formula
(yellow can)

Gentle Formula
(purple can)

  Size 5, 6, & 7 Diapers

 
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 for participating in FRC's Career Panel! Your experience and knowledge is very valuable to us! 

 Family Relations Council

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month.  Did you know the Pinwheel is the national symbol for child abuse and neglect prevention?  The pinwheel stands as an uplifting reminder of childhood and the bright futures all children deserve.

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 2nd
3:00 p.m.
SAC 113
Alma College Campus
Join us as we kick-off Child Abuse Prevention Month!
Learn about our events planned for April, listen to our
incredible guest speaker, Taylor Cole, and help plant the
pinwheel garden! Taylor will share with us her personal
story of sexual abuse by Larry Nassar of MSU.
 

Child Advocacy Lunch and Learn 
Thursday, April 4th
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Alma Public Library
Join Child Advocacy for a free lunch and learn as we discuss the prevention and intervention of child sexual abuse in athletics. We will feature a panel of guest speakers- Taylor Cole, Richelle Davis, Sarah Dehring, Eric Huff, and Ty Warczinsky, who bring their experience and expertise in what we can do to counter child sexual abuse within athletics. This is a great event for parents, coaches, teachers, and college athletes. 

Please RSVP to Staci at (989)463-1422 or staci@linkforfamilies.org.
Go behind the scenes to see how the multidisciplinary team works together to help kids and families who visit the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County. We are offering tours at 1:00 p.m. or 4:00 p.m. Space is limited. RSVP to Staci at 989-463-1422 or staci@linkforfamilies.org.




Charity Basketball Game
DOUBLE HEADER!! 
Friday, April 12th
Event starts at 6:30 p.m.
Alma High School Gymnasium  

Game 1: St. Louis vs. Breckenridge Alumni 
Game 2: Alma  vs. Ithaca 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 interested in playing. Please send your Name, School, Graduation Year, and Shirt Size!

Calling all Parents of Toddlers!! Child Advocacy will be adding a Toddler Trot during the Alumni Basketball Game! Race down the court during one of our breaks at the game and win a free t-shirt.  We are looking for children ages 1-3 years old to participate!  FREE t-shirts for all racers! Anyone interested in having your child participate please contact Staci at staci@linkforfamilies.org  or 989-463-1422.

$5 (or donation) at the door. All proceeds to benefit Child Advocacy's Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs.

Please join us to support the artwork created by our children involved in the Children's Advocacy Center, CASA, and Above the Influence. Opening Night is April 29th from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Alma College Flora Kirsch Gallery. We will have light refreshments. The artwork will remain on display until May 17. You can view the gallery Monday through Thursday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Friday from  10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

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 22
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.
April is Alcohol 
Awareness Month
Submitted by: Ty Warczinsky
GCSAC Program Director

Underage drinking is very prevalent across the U.S. and locally in Gratiot County as well.  The goal of the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition is to empower residents to choose a healthy, safe way to work, play, and live- this includes encouraging youth to wait until the age of 21 to start drinking if they choose to do so. 

In Gratiot County: according to our MiPHY data, which is a collection of data from students in Gratiot County, the age of first alcohol consumption is 13.  Twenty-five point six percent of 11th graders report that they have drank alcohol in the past 30 days.  Over 95% of students who drink alcohol report that they do so at home or at a friend's house.  This is where it gets scary; only 64% of student's report that having 5 or more drinks once or twice a weekend brings moderate or great risk.  The good news is, 80% of Gratiot County students report that their parents have spoken to them about alcohol use.

A handful of important facts apply when it comes to underage drinking.  First, youth may drink less often than legal age drinkers, but when they do consume it is a more substantial amount. Obviously, this increases the potential threat of alcohol poisoning.  Second, those with Substance Use disorders commonly start using before the age of 18(12-18 years old).  An adolescent's brain is still developing, and substances are more prone to weaken the brain and plant the disease of addiction. 

When we look at local statistics, we can see that there are many parents having a conversation about alcohol and alcohol use- this is great to see.  We need to continue to focus on the messaging that we provide to our youth. The data on preventing addiction related to alcoholism is clear- we need to continue to work on increasing the age of first use.  So, our conversations with our youth should be if you choose to drink, wait until you're 21.  One of our laws states it articulately: waiting is a protective factor in preventing a lifelong addiction.
Scheduled Classes
 
Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Who: Non-biological caregivers (foster, adoptive, kinship, etc.) and their children.
What: Join Morgan Rooy and Richelle Davis as they present their Body Safety Education for adults. This will discuss when to begin, why it's important, and how to talk with children about their bodies and personal boundaries.
Where: East Superior Christian Church (605 E. Superior St. Alma, MI)
When: Tuesday, April 9th 6:00-8:00 p.m. (the second Tuesday of every month)
Why: Because parenting is one of the most difficult jobs and having support from others is crucial. Did we mention free childcare and snacks?!

Please call our office t o RS VP at (989)4 63-1422 or email staci @linkforfamilies.org.

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, April 8th
1:00 p.m.
Youth for Christ - Alma

Please call Emily 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.

Stewards of Children® Training for Youth-Serving  Organizations
Location: Alma Public Library

Stewards of Children teaches the five steps in protecting children from sexual abuse. The Youth-Serving Training is geared toward community organizations working with children. This is great for coaches, teachers, camp counselors, daycare providers, etc. This will be held at the Alma Public Library on April 16th from 6-8:30pm. The cost is $5 per person to cover a portion of the training products. RSVP to Morgan Rooy at 989-463-1422!

Stewards of Children® Training for Community  Members
Location: Alma Public Library

We know that when adults are trained, they take the
steps to protect children from sexual abuse. During this
award-winning Stewards of Children® prevention training,
you'll learn concrete steps that you can take to protect the
children in your life. This training is open to the public.
$5 admission covers a portion of training material
costs. RSVP to (989) 463-1422.
Greetings!

I'm going to keep this short and sweet!  Please wear blue on Monday's and help us spread awareness about child abuse prevention.  We hope to see you at one of our events this month! 


Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
President & CEO