CA with tag line 

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

Giving is not just about making a donation.
It is about making a difference.

-Kathy Calvin
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
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
Community Represenative
Vice President 
Matt Schooley
Alma City Manager
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency
Sara Bonacci

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
Detective/Sgt. Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Integrated Health Network
Mark Williams
Alma Public Safety Administrator 

Joe Yourchock
CMHCM/Community Representative

Kim Vetter
Michigan State Police

Annette Collison
Kahn Consulting, INC.

Garth Anderson
Commercial Bank


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

Baby Pantry
Diapers Size 4, 5 & 6
Infant Formula
(yellow can)
Gentle Formula
(purple can)
Maternity Clothing
Quart Sized Bags
Training Pants
Burp Cloths
Newborn Clothing
Preemie Clothing
Safety Items

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!

I would like to thank your agency for putting on a great Lunch & Learn. I learned a lot, more than I thought I would. Thank you!

Lunch & Learn Community Guest

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List

Child Advocacy wishes you a happy and healthy holiday season.  We are thankful for the continued support we receive from the community to make Gratiot County a safe and enjoyable place to live.  
Please take a moment to relax and enjoy our informative newsletter - learn about our new Parenting Coach program, meet our newest employee, and check out all the classes and trainings we have to offer. 

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter,
Staci Bigelow
Volunteer/Event Coordinator 
Check out our website .
Upcoming Events

Princess & Pirate Family Carnival & Expo
Saturday, January 26th, 2019
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

FREE admission to Gratiot County Residents! FREE refreshments!

FREE Kids Activities          FREE Information for families
 - Make and take crafts     - Special Princess & Pirate Guests
 - Local Businesses           - Prescription Drop Box
 - games and prizes          - Recreation organizations/clubs

For more information please contact Child Advocacy at (989)463-1422 or Staci  or to register as a vendor please  click here  to print off a registration form.
Child Advocacy Parenting Coach
Submitted by: Jennifer Leppien
CAN Parenting Coach
The Parenting Coach program at Child Advocacy provides trauma-informed supervised visitation to families whose children are in out-of-home care. When referred by DHHS, the Parenting Coach will work with the family to facilitate family visits that provide a safe and nurturing environment and promotes positive parent-child interactions.

Visit coaching is a practice that helps families to make significant changes and life alterations in a short amount of time by directly addressing the issues that brought their child into care. Additionally, visit coaching builds on family strengths and guides parents to improved parenting skills. Before each visit, families work with the parenting coach to address fears, barriers, and parenting issues. Visitation settings are chosen based on the child's needs and provide an environment that reduces stress and promotes relational connections. During the visit, the coach actively acknowledges the parent's strengths in responding to their child(ren) and guides them in improving their skills. After the visit, the family and coach evaluate how the next visit could be improved. 

Nationally, agencies have found that coached visits are more effective than traditional supervised visits, resulting in shorter out-of-home placements and increased family reunification. Parenting coach programs provide families with the opportunity to experience repeated positive personal connections, which are key to building resiliency after traumatic/adverse experiences. At Child Advocacy, we strive to provide families with services that promote empathy, empowerment, responsiveness, and active parenting.

Above the Influence
Submitted by: Lexi Morton
GCSAC Prevention Educator

What an exciting beginning to what I am sure is going to be a great school year! Our Above the Influence students hit the ground running!
On October 19th at the home football game, the Ithaca Above the Influence students held an awareness night targeting ways to stay above the influence, particularly when it comes to substance use and abuse. Students, teachers, and staff participated in an informational video that was shown at half-time for the community to see. The students worked hard on making posters showcasing the ATI logo and also manned the informational table. This event was a success in our books and we are so excited to expand this in the future.
During the month of November, the Alma ATI students visited six different fifth grade classrooms at Pine A venue. During the student's time at Pine Avenue, they discussed the importance of staying above the influence in all areas of life. The students broke out into small groups where at first the high school students talked about what negative and positive peer pressure looks and feels like, and what this may look like in their lives. Correspondingly, the fifth graders were asked how they could respond to different situations when faced with different kinds of peer pressure. This exercise allowed the fifth graders to share ways that they currently stay above negative influences in their lives and ways they will be proactive in the future. The overwhelming response from the high school students was that they were impacted greatly by this visit and the fifth grade students outlooks.
Currently, the high school students are working on the ATI Basketball Nights. Each school will choose a different topic to educate their communities on. On December 11th the Ithaca ATI students chosen topic of discussion is Suicide Awareness and Prevention. The Alma ATI students will be hosting their Basketball Awareness Night on January 25th . Their topic of discussion is Substance Use and Abuse. Ashley and Fulton ATI students are in the process of picking a date and topic.
Stay tuned for more upcoming dates of events from our hardworking ATI Students.
Welcome Nikky Holton
My name is Nikky Holton and my family and I are excited to be back in Michigan! We recently moved to Alma from Denver, Colorado where we spent the majority of our time hiking and camping in the Rockies. I am joining the Child Advocacy team as the intake coordinator for the Children's Advocacy Center.

I graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor's degree in Healthcare Administration but quickly realized my passions lie within the social work field. I am currently working toward my MSW and look forward to learning from the incredibly knowledgeable staff at Child Advocacy.

My husband, Chris and daughter, McKinley and I love to hike and are always open to recommendations of your favorite spots here in Michigan! I am very grateful to be here and look forward to making a difference in the communities that we serve.
Scheduled Classes

Caregiver Appreciation Dinner & Children's Game Night

Who: Non-biological caregivers (foster, adoptive, kinship, etc.) and their children.
Where: St. Louis Church of Christ - St. Louis
When: Tuesday, December 11th 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?!

Pizza and Games for Children, Dinner and Comedy for Caregivers!

Please call our office t o RS VP at (989)4 63-1422 or email Rachel

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, December 10th
1:00 p.m.
RESD - Ithaca

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 the Month
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Alma Public Library

December 6th - Internet Safety
January 3rd - Body Safety Education

Child Advocacy will be hosting monthly lunch & learns on a variety of topics. We hope you will join us. Please contact Child Advocacy to RSVP at (989)463-1422.
We are in the holiday spirit here at Child Advocacy!  The first weekend in December we are hosting our 7th annual Shop With a Hero event.  Check out the photos from the event on our Facebook page!

I would like to take a few minutes to thank Matt Schooley for his years of service to Child Advocacy.  Matt joined the Child Advocacy team back in 2010 when he worked with us to develop the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) program here at Child Advocacy.  I relied on Matt's expertise from a law enforcement stand point when looking at protocols, the set up and safety of the center, and investigation processes. During that time Matt also assisted me with promoting the CAC program to community members, potential partners, and donors.  In 2014 we invited Matt to join the Child Advocacy Board of Directors.  Because of my new position as an Alma City Commissioner it is a conflict for Matt as the Alma City Manager to sit on our Board of Directors.  While I am very excited about my new role as a Commissioner I am very sad to see Matt go as a Board Member.  I look forward to working with Matt in a new capacity at the city, and I know that Matt will still be involved with Child Advocacy in one way or another.  Thank you Matt for your time, support, and energy to Child Advocacy.  We truly appreciate you!!!

Audra Stahl
President & CEO