CA with tag line 

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


"Children are not only innocent and curious but also optimistic and joyful and essentially happy. They are, in short, everything adults wish they could be ."
                                        
- Carolyn Haywood

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
 Coordinator
 
 
Alexa Morton
 GCSAC Prevention Educator
 
Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director
 
 Richelle Davis 
CAN Prevention Educator
 
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 
Jennifer Leppien
Community Representative

Secretary
   
Treasurer
Sara Bonacci
Community 
Representative

Garth Anderson
Commercial Bank

Brett Baublitz
Transportation Director/City of Alma

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
   
Jim Dubey
Garr Tool 

Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimentions

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
 
John Morey
CPA

Mike Morris
Gratiot County Sheriff
     
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri-Lakes Petroleum

Michelle Stillwagon
Gratiot Integrated Health Network

Kevin Sweeney
Michigan State Police

Katie Tobias
Katie Tobias State Farm

Annette Weller-Collison
Kahn Consulting, INC.
 
Mark Williams
Alma Public Safety Administrator 

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 car seat  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
Diapers 
size Newborn, 5, 6
Baby Food & cereal
New or like new clothing
Preemie, newborn, 3, 4, 5, & 6

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

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

March is Parenting Awareness Month.   We hope you will consider attending one of our lunch & Learns, visiting our lending library, and/or attending one of our fun family events. 
 
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 .


Pinwheel Garden Kick-Off Ceremony
Wednesday, April 8th
Time: 12:00 pm
Location: MidMichigan Medical Center-Gratiot

Stewards of Children® Training for  
Community Members
Tuesday, April 14th
RSVP Required
Time: 1:00-3:00 pm
Location: Howe Memorial Library, Breckenridge

Charity Basketball Game
DOUBLE HEADER!!
Friday, April 17th
Event starts at 6:30 p.m.
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.

Telling Their Stories Art Exhibit - Opening Night
Monday, April 27th
Time: 5:00 pm
Location: Flora Kirsch Gallery at Alma College

Stewards of Children® Training for Community Members
Tuesday, April 28th
RSVP Required
Time: 5:30-7:30 pm
Location: Ashley District Library
"Protect Yourself" Program  
Parent Night
Submitted by: Morgan Rooy
CAN Program Director

The Protect Yourself program is a 5-session body safety and personal boundary education curriculum that is taught to all first and third grade students in Gratiot County. We are proud to say that the Protect Yourself program reaches over 1,000 children each school year! The series of lessons includes topics of personal safety, recognizing feelings, recognizing tricks and lures, protecting our own bodies, and identifying support and telling. After each lesson, students are sent home with a Parent Page that includes a brief synopsis of the lesson, and related questions for caregivers to ask their children. This is one way that we help to facilitate body safety conversations beyond the classroom. In addition, Child Advocacy began piloting Protect Yourself program Parent Nights in 2019, and we are excited that these Parent Nights are now being scheduled regularly as part of the curriculum. The Protect Yourself program Parent Nights provide in-depth detail of all 5 body safety lessons, as well as additional topics and prompts for deeper discussion. We understand that these conversations may feel awkward, or feel foreign, especially if one did not grow up having heard these conversations as a child. We hope that our Parent Nights help parents and caregivers feel confident and comfortable with the topics of body safety and personal boundaries, and empowered to begin having deeper discussions with their children. Parents and caregivers are a child's first and most influential teacher; let us help with making these conversations a natural part of parenting.

Our Protect Yourself program Parent Nights are advertised in our newsletter, on our website and Facebook page, and within all Parent Letters that are sent home from the schools. For more information about Protect Yourself program Parent Nights, other body safety education training, or general body safety information, please contact us at 989-463-1422 or morgan@linkforfamilies.org.

Here are some of our favorite body safety websites:
Above the Influence 
Media Campaign
Submitted by: Sara Krebs
GCSAC Prevention Coordinator

Above the Influence is a national program that is run locally thought the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition. In this program, students from local high schools participate in Above the Influence meetings led by the Coalition's Prevention Educator- Alexa Morton. The meetings are held throughout the school year and focus on providing facts and education to help students find ways to stay above negative influences. In addition to learning about and promoting ways to stay above negative influences, the groups are active in various other ways throughout the community. Above the Influence hosts awareness events at high school basketball games, and participates each spring in the Telling Their Stories Art Show at Alma College. Recently some of the ATI students also had the opportunity to work on developing a media campaign designed to educate youth on the dangers of substance use.
 
To develop the media campaign, the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition's Above the Influence program partnered with Alma College's BitWorks Productions. The media campaign project focused on a variety of topics- alcohol, smoking, marihuana, and suicide prevention. In addition to making videos, the teens who participated were able to have honest conversations with local law enforcement on issues that teens are facing today.
 
The videos that were produced in this series are being shared on the Above the Influence: Gratiot County Faceook page to raise awareness on the dangers of substance abuse. We invite you to visit the Above the Influence: Gratiot County Facebook page to view the videos and share them with your friends!
 
If you are interested in becoming involved in local substance abuse prevention and suicide prevention, please consider joining us for our monthly meetings. The Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition (GCSAC) meetings are held monthly on the second Monday of the month at 1pm in MidMichigan Medical Center- Gratiot's Wilcox Auditorium. All meetings are open to the public. If you have any questions about monthly meetings or the GCSAC please contact Emily Rayburn, GCSAC Coordinator at emily@linkforfamilies.org or 989-463- 1422.


Scheduled Classes
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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 staci@linkforfamilies.org to RSVP or call (989)463-1422.

Greetings,
I hope by the time you read this we are well on our way to Spring weather!  As I type this out we are in the midst of a snow storm, and I have personally had enough of winter.  With Spring right around the corner we are excited to announce they we are hoping to break ground on our new build very soon.  We are all set to go and at this point we are just waiting on permits from the State.  Fingers crossed these come through very quickly. 

If you are interested in donating to the new building and would like to have your name, business name, or family name as part of this project  please contact me at audra@linkforfamilies.org.  

We have many opportunities for naming spaces in the building, and a "Giving Wall" that will be proudly displayed in the front lobby with donor names.  What a great way to leave your mark on something that will have such an impact on the residents of Gratiot County. 

Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
President & CEO