CA with tag line 

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

  Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute "presents" with "presence."

- Anthony Witham

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
Sara Krebs 
GCSAC Prevention

Kelsey Wooten
 GCSAC Prevention Educator

Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director

 Richelle Davis 
CAN Prevention Educator
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Program Director    
Danielle Schmidtman
CASA Recruitment Coordinator
Heather Therrien  
CAC Program Director
Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager

Mallory Harrier
CAC Intake 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

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 Integrated Health Network

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 Boxes
Bottled Water

Baby Pantry
Diapers size 5 & 6
Diaper Bags
Formula - 
Purple can Gentle Formula
Yellow can Infant Formula
Baby Food 
(Fruits and Vegetables)

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!

The experiences that Child Advocacy has given me will definitely hold a place in my heart.

C.M.U student volunteer Fall 2017

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List
It has been busy in the halls of Child Advocacy over the last few months. Please read our staff welcome article, upcoming events, and program articles below.
While doing your holiday shopping please remember to donate to your local Salvation Army, Baby Pantry, Angel Tree, Foster Closet, or any other local non-profit.  When shopping on Amazon choose Gratiot County Child Advocacy Association, that's us, under the Amazon Smile Foundation program. You can also find our Holiday wish list featured below.  

Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter,
Staci Bigelow
Volunteer/Event Coordinator 
Check out our website .
Upcoming Events
Family Carnival & Expo 2018
Saturday, January 27, 2018 
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 
Youth for Christ 
2550 W. Cheesman Rd. -  Alma
For more information please contact Child Advocacy at (989)463-1422 or or to register as a vendor please click here to print off a registration form.
Preventing Child Sexual Abuse
Submitted By: Morgan Rooy
 CAN Program Director, CPST

Child sexual abuse is a national health problem. It is highly likely that someone you know has experienced or is currently experiencing child sexual abuse. This is a reality that we don't like to think about. When we choose to not think about it, we aren't working to change the issue.
What can we do about it?

As adults, we have the opportunity to educate and empower ourselves, and the children in our lives. Child Advocacy offers a 2.5-hour training in Darkness to Light Stewards of Children, a child sexual abuse prevention training for adults. This nationally-recognized program teaches five key steps:
  1.  Learn the Facts: The facts about child sexual abuse can be staggering, but they help us understand the risks children face.
  2. Minimize Opportunity: If you eliminate opportunities for children to be in isolated, one-on-one situations, you can dramatically reduce the risk of abuse.
  3. Talk About It: Children often keep abuse a secret, but talking openly about our bodies, sex, and boundaries can encourage children to share.
  4. Recognize the Signs: Don't expect obvious signs when a child is being abused. Signs are often there, but you have to know what to look for.
  5. React Responsibly: Be prepared to act responsibly if a child discloses abuse to you, or if you suspect or see that boundaries have been violated.
In addition to the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training, Child Advocacy provides a lending library of adult and children's books aimed at preventing child sexual abuse, as well as other free resources. We also have a Prevention Educator in our schools educating first and third grade students in the Protect Yourself program, which teaches five personal safety lessons.

Let us know how we can help you feel empowered in preventing child sexual abuse. Whether it's attending the Darkness to Light Stewards of Children training, checking out a book to read with your child, taking a stack of brochures for your lobby, or continuing the conversation of personal safety with your child, we are here for you. Together we can prevent child sexual abuse in our community and beyond.

For more information on Darkness to Light, visit

Welcome Danielle Schmidtman

My name is Danielle Schmidtman and I am the new CASA Recruitment Coordinator here at Child Advocacy. I am beyond excited to have been given the opportunity to expand and grow the CASA program! A little bit about me-- I am originally from Saint Johns, Michigan. I attended Central Michigan University and received  a Bachelor's degree in Sociology and a minor in Family Studies. Fire up Chips!

Serving children and families has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember and I am so happy to be able to fulfill that dream! I truly believe that all it takes is one connection to completely change a child's life, and I am very eager to begin the search for new CASA volunteers that will be that defining connection for the youth that we serve! When initially researching Child Advocacy, I knew this was a place where I could really grow, learn, and impact the community. I am incredibly humbled by this organization and I couldn't think of a better place to begin my career. 
No Shave November
Submitted by: Nicole Showers
CAC Case Manager
As the Fall season comes to an end and Winter is in full effect, Christmas is often the one thing that is on a child's mind. There can be much anticipation about what presents are going to be under the tree and going back to school after Winter break and sharing the excitement of new toys and gadgets with their friends. One aspect of Christmas that some children may miss out on is being able to go out and buy presents for their loved ones that are picked out individually by them. Child Advocacy and the MI State Police have teamed up for Shop with a Hero, a Christmas Outreach event, allowing children ages five to eleven to get paired with a hero for a morning of shopping for themselves and their loved ones. The heroes that volunteer their time to shop with the children are members of Law Enforcement, Fire and Rescue, Soldiers, and MI Dept. of Corrections Officers.

This will be the sixth year for the Shop with a Hero event put on by Child Advocacy and MI State Police, but there is something new this year; Law Enforcement Officers from Alma Police Department and St. Louis Police Department decided to take a hunting tradition and use it to benefit Child Advocacy's Shop with a Hero Christmas Outreach event. No shave November is an old tradition that many hunters take part in that involves them not shaving their facial hair for the month of November. Officers from the Alma and St. Louis Police Departments have partnered together and pledged a donation of $5 for every week that they don't shave for the entire month of November.

Chief Ramereiz of the St. Louis Police Department stated, "This is the 2nd year that the St. Louis Police Department has participated in the No Shave November event.  Each officer involved was required to pay $5 for each week of November ($25 for the month) that they did not want to shave.  All money raised last year was donated to cancer research on behalf of our previous Police Chiefs Howard Teed and Walter Smith.  Both passed away from cancer.  This year the St. Louis Police Department again participated and wanted to partner with another agency to raise money for a local event.  The Alma PD was asked and accepted.  Both agencies are big supporters of the Shop with a Hero event and that is why we have decided to donate the money we raise to the Shop with a Hero event."

Mark Williams, the Director of Alma Department of Public Safety and Child Advocacy Board Member, stated that he was contacted by Chief Ramereiz in regard to doing the No Shave November event and that is when seven officers from the Alma Police Department put down their razors and joined in on the fun. Director Williams spoke on all of the support that is given to the Shop with a Hero event, "The Alma Department of Public Safety is a very big supporter of Child Advocacy and looks forward to working collaboratively whenever possible to raise money to support all the Child Advocacy services provided to our community.  Although the Alma Fire Department did not participate in the "No Shave November" due to the inability to secure a good seal with the face mask with facial hair, they will be assisting at the Shop with a Hero event and have fire trucks on scene at both locations."

The staff at Child Advocacy appreciates the support that is continuously shown by all community partners. 
Scheduled Classes

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, December 12
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
East Superior Christian Church - Alma

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, December 11
1:00 p.m.
RESD- Ithaca , MI 
Please call Sara 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.
Happy Holidays!
A great big HUGE thank you to everyone who donated, played, and volunteered at Trivia Night in November!  We owe all of our success to you.  THANK YOU!!  Save the Date for Trivia Night the Sequel Saturday, March 3rd, 2018.

As always we are moving and shaking around here.  We are now a staff of 14, which means we are doing more great work in the community, offering more services, classes, and events, and serving thousands of children and their families in Gratiot County.  Keep your eye out for some new classes, programs, and fundraisers this year.

This weekend we are hosting our 6th annual Shop With a Hero event.  If you ask our staff they will tell you this is by far their favorite event.  62 children and their families, 14 Child Advocacy staff, 50 Heroes, 50 Civilian Volunteers, 2 stores, and 2 Santa Claus is the recipe for a successful event and lots of Christmas wishes coming true.  Keep your eye on our FB page for pictures.

I sincerely want to thank each of every one of you for another fantastic year here at Child Advocacy.  It's with your support that we are able to do all that we do for the children in this county.  Your donations of time, supplies, and money help us more than you could ever know.  I don't usually outright ask (I typically hint), but please remember our agency when you are doing your year end giving this year.  Every dollar counts and no donation is too small.

Thank you for all that you do and Merry Christmas!

Audra Stahl
President & CEO