CA with tag line 

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

Play is often talked about as if it 
were a relief from 
serious learning.
But for children, play is serious learning.
Play is really the work of childhood.

-Fred "Mr." Rogers

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
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Coordinator    
Heather Therrien  
CAC Coordinator
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager
Staci Bigelow
Event/Volunteer Coordinator

Board of Directors  

Wes Wickes
Youth for Christ
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
Carolyn Studley
  Community Representative

 Kelly Piotrowski
Dept. of Human Services
Steve Benn
MI State Police

Sara Bonacci
Sara Bonacci Photography

Wendy Currie 
Mid MI District Health Dept

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions 

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
Mike Morris
Detective, Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency

Matt Schooley
City of Alma Transportation

Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Co. Comm. Mental Health 

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!


Carly and I would like to Thank you so much for the car seat and for helping keep Carly safe.
It means a lot
Thank you."

Card sent to Pam after receiving 
 a new car seat for her daughter.  

Quick Links

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We hope you are enjoying your summer!  The staff here at Child Advocacy are busy planning our events and programs that will resume in the fall. These events will be featured in our "Upcoming Events" section.

Mark your calendar for the back to school event, see details below.

Child Advocacy Staff
Check out our website .
Upcoming Events

Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Golf Challenge
When:  Monday, August 15, 2016

Where: Mt. Pleasant Country Club
3686 E River Road, Mt. Pleasant

Description: $400/team -or- $100/person

Please visit for more details and to register.

Back to School Event
Wednesday, August 17  from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Thursday, August 18 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
St. Louis Church of Christ - 1075 W. Monroe Road, St. Louis

Free Clothes, Vision Testing, School Supplies(while supplies last) and MORE!

  • You must provide proof of children (Birth Certificate, School I.D., SS Card, Insurance Card or DHS Paperwork.)
  • This event is for Gratiot County Residents.
  • Children must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Any questions, please contact Dan Carley at or (989) 875-8228.  

Understanding Addiction and 
Identifying Addictive Behaviors
Tuesday, September 27, 2016 
7:15 a.m. - 10:00 a.m.

Alma College
Oscar E. Remick Heritage Center
614 W. Superior Street, Alma

Target Audience: Coaches, Counselors, EMS, Parents, 
Law Enforcement and Teachers.

Online registration is available at:

Pain, Perceptions and Ethical Challenges: Caring for the Addicted Patient
Tuesday, September 27, 2016
1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Central Michigan University
Bovee University Center Auditorium - Room 302
103 E. Preston Street, Mt. Pleasant

Continuing Education Credits - Physician and Nurses

Online registration available at:
My thoughts on being constantly 
asked "How do you do it?"
Written by: Sheila Barnaby
Submitted  by: Michelle Zombeck

How do you do it?                   

Seems like a simple question. Like, how do you tie your shoes, or how do you make a recipe.

How do you give the kids back? How do you not get attached? How do you deal with all the appointments? How do you drop everything? How do you do it?

I do it because it is what needs to be done. I love these kids with everything that I have, because they deserve that. I take them where they need to be. I work hard to make up for things that they may have missed. I give them structure even when it feels like it is ruling my life.

How do I do it? I just do. It is what I feel like I am meant to be doing. It is harder than I could have ever imagined. But when those little arms reach for me after a long day at work, the missed visits, the FTMs, and court hearings are all worth it.

I do it because I get to be a mommy. I get to rock them to sleep. I get to watch them learn new words. I get to see them master new skills. I get to be a part of their happiness as well as their sadness.

That is how I do it.

There may be more heart break in my future, I never forget that reunification is always the goal. In the time that we have together, we share love and experiences. I will love them endlessly for all their days. I am a better person because they have been in my life.

When people ask, what I hear is, I'm not willing to do it. It isn't that they CAN'T. And the truth is that is okay. If foster care isn't something that you are choosing to do, that is fine. This system is a mess and it isn't for everyone. But don't ask me how I can. It is not some skill that I have mastered. It just is what I have committed to doing.
                       The CAC Rock Garden
By: Heather Therrien
CAC Coordinator

When a child visits the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC), the first thing they see is our rock garden located at the entrance of our building. It's not just any rock garden though. Many of the rocks found here have special attributes that set them apart from other rocks here in Gratiot County. These rocks have been splashed with creativity, color and, in some cases, even sparkles. They are painted as part of school or church group activities, youth organization projects or by kids and parents on a rainy day.

Throughout the year, we have the pleasure of accepting these specially designed donations from thoughtful kids and grown-ups here in our community - they stop by our office with one, two or as many as a dozen newly designed pieces to add to our collection. We place each one carefully in the garden. Each fall, we pick up the rocks and bring them in for winter. Each spring, we put them back in the garden to share with CAC guests.

Kids and caregivers who visit the CAC find bright colors, smiley faces, rainbows, fruits, flowers, animals, and even a minion or two. Kids who visit us are particularly pleased to see these special stones and spend a great deal of time remarking on the wide range of interesting colors, designs, shapes and sizes that can be found here.

If you are interested in contributing to our special rock garden this summer or fall, simply paint a rock or grab a group and paint a few and drop them off at Child Advocacy. Questions? Contact Heather at (989) 463-1422. 

Gratiot County Farmers Markets

Wednesday & Saturday 7 a.m. - 1 p.m.
June to October
Corner of Pine Ave. & Downie St. (Next to Beacon & Bridge)

Thursday 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.
June to September
West lawn of the Village Hall (Off First St.)

Saturday 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
May to October
West Center Street & South Pine River

St. Louis
Thursday 3 p.m. - 7 p.m.
June to October
300 N. Mill Street
Free Summer Meal Program
Free Summer Meal Program open to all Gratiot County children 18 and under.
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday
June 13 - August 25

Served at:

Clapp Park:  Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

First Church of God: Lunch 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Nikkari Elementary:
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

St. Louis High School: 
Breakfast: 8: 00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Supper: 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.

Ashley Comm. Schools:
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
Breakfast: 8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Lunch: 11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Summer Hours
Starting the week of June 13  
Monday - Thursday
9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Closed Friday
Scheduled Classes

There will not be a Foster Parent Support Group for the month of August. DHS will be hosting a group picnic in its place. Please contact them at (989)875-5181 for more information. The regular Support Group will resume in September.
Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, September 13
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for the class.

We have had a very busy summer here at Child Advocacy!  We have given countless tours of our facility and even had a full audit of our Children's Advocacy Center this week, and with each tour I am reminded of what amazing community support we receive.  I love to tell people all about our partnerships and collaborations!  We truly couldn't do any of the work that we do without the help and support of local businesses, community agencies, service organizations, churches, and private citizens.  A huge heartfelt THANK YOU to all of you from all of us at Child Advocacy!!

Enjoy the rest of your summer!
Audra Stahl
Executive Director