CA with tag line 

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



"Parents need to fill a child's bucket of  self-esteem  so high that the rest of the world  can't poke  enough holes to drain it dry." 
 
 - Alvin Price 

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

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

Annette Collison
Kahn Consulting, INC.

Garth Anderson
Commercial Bank

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)

  *New and Gently-Used: Girl's Sizes 12m, 18m, 2T-6T

  Maternity Clothing

Newborn Clothing

Preemie Clothing 

Shoes

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!

Your event was so organized and well thought out. The baseball team added just the right touch to the event.

 Guest compliment after attending our Child Advocacy Princess & Pirate Family Carnival & Expo!

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

Happy Parenting Awareness Month! Parenting is the most important and rewarding "job" you will ever do.

Parenting is for a lifetime!

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


Child Advocacy Adult Spelling Bee
Come and see what the BUZZ is all about!!! 

Saturday, March 16th
Doors open at 6:30, Spelling begins at 7:30
Alma Elks Lodge #1400 - Alma

Eight Person Teams! Lightning Round with Top Spellers!
Appetizers! Cash Bar! Gift Basket Auction!

All our registration dollars are being matched by United Way! Register or Sponsor today!
Please click here to register or Text BEE to 41444 and follow the prompts.



Charity Basketball Game
DOUBLE HEADER!! 
Friday, April 12th
Event starts at 6:30pm.
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!

$5 (or donation) at the door. All proceeds to benefit Child Advocacy's Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Programs.
Body Safety Education for Adults and Caregivers
Submitted by: Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director

In January, the CAN Program staff presented a Body Safety Education Lunch and Learn to the community. This training session was created after staff had conversations with parents and caregivers who expressed discomfort and uneasiness in talking to children about their bodies. We understand that this can be a difficult and challenging topic, and offer our support and training to facilitate these conversations. Here are some of the main points of our Body Safety Education training for Parents and Caregivers:
  • Use anatomically correct names for body parts (this gives children language and prevents confusion).
  • Talk to children about sex (doing so prevents sexual abuse).
  • Model and teach appropriate boundaries (with children of all ages and with other adults).
  • Help children identify trusted adults in their life (so they have several adults to talk to if needed).
  • React responsibly to child sexual abuse suspicions, disclosures, and discoveries (remember it's not our job to investigate, but to report and support).
  • Enforce your rules with other adults (there shouldn't be exceptions with some people and some places).
The CAN Program staff will be presenting this training again during April in honor of Child Abuse Prevention Month. If the date does not work for your schedule, please let us know and we can discuss options to bring this training to your staff, volunteers, or group. Child Advocacy also offers the Stewards of Children training, which is a child sexual abuse prevention training for adults. This training teaches the five steps in protecting children, and is great for parents, caregivers, teachers, coaches, faith-based communities, camp counselors, and others who work with youth. 

For more information about our CAN Program, please contact us at (989) 463-1422 or by email, morgan@linkforfamilies.org.
E-Cigarettes & Vaping
Submitted by: Sara Krebs
GCSAC Prevention Coordinator

E-cigarettes and vaping use is on the rise throughout the country. These electronic devices, which were initially marketed as a tobacco cessation tool, have rapidly turned into an easy way for youth to gain access to and become addicted to nicotine. In addition to using vape products for nicotine use, youth are vaping marihuana oils (THC). Many of the vape devices are not easily identifiable because they are made to look like everyday devices that youth would use- one popular vape device- the JUUL looks like a USB drive, while others are camouflaged as pens.

What exactly are e-cigs & vapes?
The FDA describes them as " Vapes, vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes or e-cigs), and e-pipes are some of the many terms used to describe electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS). ENDS are noncombustible tobacco products. These products use an "e-liquid" that may contain nicotine, as well as varying compositions of flavorings, propylene glycol, vegetable glycerin, and other ingredients. The liquid is heated to create an aerosol that the user inhales."

Risks of E-Cig & Vape Pen Use
-Irritation of eyes, ears, and throat is common among those that use vape devices
-Early adolescent use of nicotine causes changes in the developing brain that can increase the likelihood of life-long addiction.
-Chemicals from the aerosols used in e-liquids enter the user's lungs. Chemical residue is left behind in the user's lungs and the long term effects are not fully understood.
-In addition to the chemicals entering the user's lungs, those who around individuals who are vaping also inhale the ultra fine particles (second hand vapors) that are created from the aerosol in the e-liquid as well.

National Trends
Among middle and high school students, 3.62 million were current users of e-cigarettes in 2018. E-cigarette use, from 2017 to 2018, increased 78 percent among  high school students (11.7% to 20.8%) and 48 percent among middle school students (3.3% to 4.9%) from 2017 to 2018.(MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep. 2018;67(45):1276-1277)


Local Trends
The Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition works with local schools to conduct the Michigan Profile for Healthy Youth Survey every other year. The MiPHY is a confidential survey given to 7th, 9th and 11th graders- the students are asked questions related to drugs/alcohol, physical activity & health behaviors, and other various community & family domain topics. This survey is an extremely valuable resource because it provides valuable insight into current youth behaviors and attitudes. GCSAC works with other local agencies to analyze the data gathered from the surveys and uses the data to plan prevention services in the county. Survey results from 2018 show that 14.6% of Gratiot County High School students used an electronic vapor product during the last 30 days- this is up from 2016 when 9.4% of high school students who used an electronic vapor product during the last 30 days.

For more information on vaping, visit https://drugfree.org/parent-blog/the-teen-vaping-trend-what-parents-need-to-know/ and download the "What you need to know and how to talk to your kids about vaping."

If you or someone you know would be interested in helping prevent substance abuse locally, The Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition meets on the second Monday of the month at Youth For Christ in Alma at 1 p.m. and we are always looking for new members! If you have any questions, please contact Coalition Coordinator Emily Rayburn at 989-463-1422 or emily@linkforfamilies.org.
Scheduled Classes
 

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Who: Non-biological caregivers (foster, adoptive, kinship, etc.) and their children.
Where: East Superior Christian Church (605 E. Superior St. Alma, MI)
When: Tuesday, March 12th 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 Rachel @linkforfamilies.org.


Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, March 11th
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.


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

March 7th - NALOXONE the Opioid Crisis & Current
Drug Trends
A pril 4th - Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month

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.
Greetings!
We hope you are planning to attend our first ever Spelling Bee!  It's going to be so much fun.  Can't spell?  That's ok, neither can we.  :)  The competition is a team event with lots of laughs.  Opportunities to earn extra points will be fun for all.  Come see what all the buzzzzzzz is about!

April is Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Month, so follow us on Facebook throughout the month of March to see how you can support Child Advocacy and child abuse prevention throughout the month of April.  We will have fun t-shirts for sale; as well as plans to promote "Blue Monday's" again this year. 

Our 10th annual Alumni Charity Basketball Game is also coming up in April (see above), so if you are an Alumni and would like to play please sign up ASAP!  We are looking forward to all of the fun and excitement on Alumni night!


Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
President & CEO