CA with tag line 

 525 N. State Street · Suite 4 · Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422
"What will your children remember? We can change the world inside our own houses . Take the gift of this moment  and make something beautiful of it. Few worthwhile experiences just happen; memories are made on purpose."
- Gloria Gaither
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
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  

Carolyn Studley
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
Community Representative

Sara Bonacci

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

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 
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.

Quick Links

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We hope you are staying safe and healthy! Child Advocacy will have limited staff during the month of May, please call ahead before coming to the building. Like us on Facebook, Child Advocacy-Gratiot County, for updates.

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


The Significance of May
Submitted by: Michelle Zombeck
CASA Program Director

When thinking about the month of May many people associate it with warmer weather, the rebirth of nature, and watching spring gradually bloom into summer. For people that work with children and families, it also represents National Foster Care month. A time to recognize, show appreciation, and gratitude to our foster parents in Gratiot County and across the nation.

Ask any person involved in foster care and they will say it is hard work.  Abused and neglected children hurt.  However, foster parents make the difference in the lives of these children. Some foster parents make a difference not only in the life of the child, but also the child's biological family .

In Gratiot County alone, we have an amazing group of families that play a part in enhancing the lives of children and youth in foster care. Unfortunately, the need is still great. We have over 437,000 children and youth in foster care nationwide . We have children and youth in our community that need your help. The search for supportive, loving, and caring people to become foster parents is on. It is essential that we find people who can provide for the safety, permanency, and well-being for children and youth. For more information, visit MICHIGAN.GOV/HOPEFORAHOME

If foster care is not right for you, there are many other ways to support children in the child welfare system. Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) is another program that allows people with a passion for children to get involved. CASA of Gratiot County is a unique volunteer program that takes people from all walks of life and trains them to advocate on behalf of children involved in abuse and neglect cases. Volunteers meet with assigned children weekly and communicate with all parties involved in a case in order to make recommendations on behalf of the child in court. CASA volunteers are a constant in the life of a child. They walk side by side ensuring that the child is supported, cared for and their voice is heard through their journey of permanency.

Our foster care system also needs transporters and respite care providers. Our foster children need items such as new clothing, pajamas and toiletry items. Monetary donations make it possible for services such as extra-curricular activities, gas cards and other direct needs.

Learn how you can get involved by contacting Child Advocacy's CASA Program Director, Michelle Zombeck at 989-463-1422.

Child Passenger Safety Technician  Month
Submitted by: Pam Mahin
Office Manager & Certified Car Seat Safety Technician

May is Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) month. This month we celebrate all those that have been trained and taken the oath to protect our youngest population while they are traveling in a vehicle. 
Being a CPST doesn't mean that you just get to install a child safety seat in a vehicle or tell someone that their child is not riding safe. We are all about education. After asking the caregiver if we can help them make sure their child is riding as safe as possible in the vehicle, we check the seat that the child is currently riding in to make sure that it is the right fit for the child and the vehicle. Not all seats will fit in all vehicles.  After we have determined the best seat and location in the vehicle for the seat, we show the caregiver how to make all the correct adjustments to the seat's harness to fit the child and then how to install the seat properly. We then have the caregiver show us how to install the seat. It is important that the caregiver knows how to install the seat properly in case they need to uninstall the seat for some reason. 
Normally there would be numerous opportunities for new technicians to be trained this month, however with the COVID-19 crisis going on, those trainings have been postponed. The training consists of 3 full days in the classroom and 1 day helping out at a car seat check up event in the community, for a total of 40 hours. If you would like to become a child passenger safety technician, please go to to search for a class near you.

This has certainly been an interesting season of life. Like many of you, our staff has had to adapt quickly to working from home. At one time this may have been something we would have dreamed of, but like my mom always said, "be careful what you wish for". My mom was right! Working from home has not been as easy or as fun as we might have thought. We miss our clients, we miss each other, and we miss the conveniences of our offices. We will continue to work from home throughout the month of May. Our plan is to open back up slowly with limited staff and limited hours.  We will post a schedule once the Shelter in place order has been lifted. We are and have been providing forensic interviews to children who are abused or neglected. We also continue to meet the needs of our clients on an as needed basis. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you or someone you know has a need that we can help with. We will get through this difficult time together, and we thank you for your support.

In other news, you will see that our building project is getting started. If you drive by our current location at the Wilcox Building on State Street in Alma you will notice that construction fence is going up in the lot next door, the older trees are coming down (we will plant new ones), and the excavating will start soon. To say our staff is excited is an understatement.  We have dreamed of this space for years, and it has been a lot of hard work to get to this point. If you are interested in being a part of this project by making a donation please contact us for details.  

Please stay safe and healthy.  

Audra Stahl
President & CEO