CA with tag line 

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

"Parenting was much easier when I was raising my 
non-existent kid hypothetically."

-Mommy on Purpose 

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 Rayburn
GCSAC Coordinator

Sara Krebs 
GCSAC Prevention
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  

Carolyn Studley
Vice President 
Steve Vernon
Gratiot Integrated Health Network

Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency
Sara Bonacci

Garth Anderson
Commercial Bank

Brett Baublitz
Transportation Director/City of Alma

Annette Weller-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

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


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   Please see new carseat guidelines on our website.
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.
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
New Children's Books
Games for younger children to play
Capri Sun Juice Boxes
Bottled Water

 C ommunity 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

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List

Goodbye summer, hello school year. 

With the new school year almost here please take a moment to read our program articles submitted by our educated staff here at Child Advocacy. The articles will provide information on our Protect Yourself program, and some facts and valuable resource links on talking to your children about drugs and alcohol.

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter,
Staci Bigelow
Volunteer/Event Coordinator 
Check out our website .
Summer Hours
Starting the week of June 10  
Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Limited staff on Fridays, please call ahead.
Car seats are by appointment only.
Talking to Your Child 
About Body Safety
Submitted by: Richelle Davis
CAN Prevention Educator

Summer is quickly coming to a close and school will soon be in session, bringing the Protect Yourself program to all 1st and 3rd graders in Gratiot County. The Protect Yourself program is a series of lessons that teach children about strangers, feelings & instincts, tricks & lures, body safety, and who to tell. This is an awesome program that empowers children with the knowledge of how to be the Boss of their Body. It is also important for parents to have open and ongoing conversations with their children at home in natural, everyday situations so children know this is a safe conversation to have.

Subjects to Discuss:
  • Teach children proper names for body parts, so if they disclose inappropriate touching, it will be clear what they are talking about.
  • Use age appropriate wording. Body safety can be taught without discussing sexuality. Teach them that no one should ever touch them in the areas that their bathing suit covers, and they should never touch anyone else in these areas, or see pictures or movies that show these areas.
  • Secrets vs. Surprises. Keeping secrets, especially secrets about touching are never okay. Surprises are safe, such as a surprise birthday party, gift, or hiding place during hide and seek. Surprises never hurt anyone and are always found out. We never keep secrets about touching.
  • Help your child come up with 5 people they could talk to if someone were ever touching them or making them feel uncomfortable. Children are not always most comfortable in telling their parents, so it is important they know other trusted adults they can talk to. Tell them to keep telling until someone helps them.
Revisit this safety talk often. Children learn through repetition. How often do you remind your child to look both ways before crossing the street? Educate yourself. Attend one of our Lunch and Learns, attend a Steward of Children training, and follow some of our favorite body safety websites on Facebook, such as The Mama Bear Effect, D2L, and Educate 2 Empower.
Why You Should Talk to Your Child about Drugs and Alcohol
Submitted by: Emily Rayburn
GCSAC Coordinator

Parents and Guardians being educated on new and emerging trends is a lot of work. Everything seems to change within days. Electronic cigarettes have become the hot trend overnight, youth's clothing has secret compartments to hide drugs, and there's a new social media challenge every five minutes. Nevertheless, educating your children on the dangers of alcohol and other drugs does not have to be daunting.

Parents are the first to educate their children, so it is important to talk about the effects of alcohol and other drugs as a part of children's early education along with continuing this education as they get older. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, good communication helps parents support positive behavior and stay aware of what is happening in their children's lives.

According to the Partnership for Drug Free Kids, parents can begin speaking to their children about this topic as early as age two. These conversations focus on the importance of taking care of our bodies, pointing out dangerous substances that exist in their immediate world, and turning every opportunity into a learning experience. As your children get older-these conversations become even more critical. According to the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth, about 41% of Gratiot County Students reported that they have drank alcohol, and the average age of first alcohol use in Gratiot County is 13.5 (MiPHY). A great way to start a conversation is to use examples from drug-related advertisements as tools to educate. For instance, if you are watching a movie and there is alcohol being consumed by someone portraying a teenager, use this to layout your rules, problem solve, and even let them know the consequences. The most important aspect is to help children and teens separate reality from fantasy.

Also, it is important to keep your unused prescription medications locked up and out of reach of children. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) five in 10 youth, under the age of 12, obtain prescription pain relievers for non-medical purposes.

The earlier you have these conversations with your children, the higher chance you have of impacting their decisions in a positive way as they get older and are faced with these influences.

I have included the links for tips and tricks along with parent/guardian resources below!

Scheduled Classes

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, August 12th
1:00 p.m.
MidMichigan Medical Center Gratiot - Wilcox Auditorium

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.

Lunch & Learn
1st Thursday of every month
Alma Public Library
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m

Child Advocacy will be hosting monthly lunch & learns on a variety of topics. We hope you will join us. Please email Staci at to RSVP or call (989)463-1422.

Is it just me or is this summer flying by?  It's hard to believe we are gearing up for back to school schedules and events.  We are working hard to schedule classes, trainings, events, and fundraisers for the upcoming school calendar.  Please follow us on Facebook and watch our website for these exciting activities. 
Enjoy the last month of summer break!

Audra Stahl
President & CEO