CA with tag line 

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

Our future- and the future of this world - is dependent on how we nurture and bear such fruits; how we teach 
our child ren to access, revel, and achieve their own unique voices, inner potentials and happiness - despite life's inevitable difficulties.  

- Cory van den Bossche
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!

I learned a lot, I thought it was going to be boring, but the teacher was really cool and she made it fun. I enjoyed the class a lot.

Teenage parent talking to classmate about a Child Advocacy Parenting class and teacher. 

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List
Child Advocacy is dedicated to this community and to all the families and organizations that make what we do possible. As we grow as a staff, allowing us to grow and expand as an organization, please think of us if you have family or friends who could benefit from our Baby Pantry, would like to hear more about becoming a CASA, or would like to join our Coalition.  The list of opportunities to be a part of this organization goes on and on.  Just give us a call.  

Information on upcoming classes, trainings, events, and program news can also be found and easily shared below each month. 

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

Trivia Night
Saturday, November 18
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Alma Elks Lodge #1400 - Alma
Contact Staci at (989) 463-1422 for more information on this event. Please click here for a team sign up form. 
The Button Jar
Submitted by: Heather Therrien
CAC Program Director

Every day, the team that staffs the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County (CAC) strives to ensure that child abuse victims and their families have the assistance, support, and resources they need to begin a process of healing. Support might include medical and therapy referrals, victim and family advocacy, help with accessing crime victim compensation, transportation assistance and locating additional community resources and supports.

But it's often the little things at the CAC that our child abuse victims remember most. The rock garden outside the front door, the blanket they get to take home when they leave our Center and...our Button Jar.

Every child who visits our center to take part in a forensic interview is provided with an opportunity to choose a button. Buttons are donated by community members and come in all shapes, colors, and sizes. Holding that button, children are asked to make a wish and place the button in our jar where we will keep their wishes safe.

This small activity aims to help children understand that, no matter what has happened, it's still okay to wish and dream, that the CAC will always be a safe space for them and, perhaps most importantly, to show these kids that they are not alone. While the CAC can help change lives in very big ways, it's often the little things that our kids remember most. The Button Jar is one of those little things.
Welcome Kelsey Wooten
My name is Kelsey Wooten and I am the new Substance Abuse and Suicide Prevention Educator for Child Advocacy. I am feeling excited and enthusiastic about sharing my knowledge and being able to expand on preventative approaches that'll benefit the youth of Gratiot County. I was first introduced to this community over the summer through Mid Michigan District Health Department where I completed my capstone internship. During my internship, I worked with many non-profits and attended various coalition meetings in Gratiot County. Everyday, I went home feeling inspired to work among such a collaborative and caring community. I'm grateful to be back as a young professional.

A little bit about my background -- I am from Flat Rock, Michigan. I earned my diploma this past August, from Central Michigan University, where I studied Community Health Education. My career choice stems from my passion, which is helping people. Lifting people up to help them see the brighter side of things, has cultivated an endless amount joy in my life, that I'll continue to share. Aside from my role as a prevention educator, I am a yoga instructor at Mt. Pleasant Hot Yoga. I feel lucky to be able to work my passion every single day, in more than one way.
Participate in KidCents and give change to:

CA with tag line

Your small change can make a big difference.
  1. Sign in or create a free account at

  2. Choose 'select a charity' option and pick Child Advocacy to receive your change.
  3. Encourage friends and family to enroll in the KidCents program and round up their change to help support Child Advocacy and all of the programs we offer at your local Rite Aid.
Medical Marihuana Facilities 
Licensing Act Information
Submitted by: Sara Krebs
GCSAC Prevention Coordinator

As the end of the year approaches you may be seeing more in the news about Medical Marihuana laws, because in December the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act will go into effect. You may see this act abbreviated as MMFLA; it was passed last year and will be implemented on December 15th, 2017.  Below is some more information about the MMFLA that was provided by Ken Stecker, Traffic Safety Resource Prosecutor:

Q.  What is the Medical Marihuana Facilities Licensing Act (MMFLA)?
A.  Effective December 20, 2016, the MMFLA creates a comprehensive state licensing system that will control the growing, processing, transporting, testing, and sale of medical marihuana throughout Michigan.  The MMFLA does not amend the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act (MMMA).
Q.  Who oversees the MMFLA?
A.  The MMFLA creates the Medical Marihuana  Licensing Board (MMLB) within the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).  The MMLB will issue licenses for medical marihuana  facilities. The MMFLA requires an annual license for growers, processors, provisioning centers, secure transporters, and safety compliance facilities.  Each one requires a separate license. 
Q.  What is the role of a municipality (i.e., township, city, or village) under the MMFLA?
A.  Municipalities will be able to decide if they want to allow growers, processors, secure transporters, and safety compliance centers in their jurisdiction.  A person cannot apply to the State of Michigan for a license unless a municipality has adopted an ordinance that authorizes that type of facility. 
Q.  What happens if a township, city, or village chooses to allow any of these marihuana facilities within their jurisdictions?
A.  Municipalities may charge an annual fee of up to $5,000 on licensed marihuana facilities and regulate marihuana facilities within their jurisdiction (i.e. zoning ordinances).  However, the MMFLA prohibits municipalities from regulating the purity or pricing of marihuana, or interfering with statutory regulations for licensing facilities.  A municipality is exempt from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) as to any information it receives in connection with a license application.
Q.  What requirements are in place for licensees?
A.  The MMFLA requires the State to establish a "seed to sale" computer tracking system.  The new system will compile data on all marihuana plants throughout the state and track them from grower to when they end up in the hands of a registered patient.  The system will be able to provide this data in real time to law enforcement agencies.
Q.  What is the role of law enforcement under the MMFLA?
A.  A marihuana facility and all articles of property in that facility are subject to examination at any time by a local police agency or state police.
Q.  When can a person apply for a license under the MMFLA?
A.  Beginning December 15, 2017, an applicant may apply for a license to be a Class A (500 plants), B (1,000 plants) or C (1,500 plants) grower; processor; provisioning center; secure transporter; or safety compliance center.

Some additional information on Marihuana  to consider as the MMFLA goes into effect this December:

-Marihuana is a DEA Schedule 1 drug, which means it is an abused/ addictive drug and is not a proven, research-based safe and effective medicine for any disease or condition
-Marihuana use is detrimental for a young person's developing brain. Use of marihuana by teens is associated with poor school outcomes, lower IQ, poor memory, worsening psychiatric conditions and behavior problems.
-Medical marihuana will be a new industry in Michigan and many cities, villages, and townships do not have zoning ordinances to regulate it. 
-Marihuana is illegal at the federal level and banks will not do business with marihuana licensees dispensaries therefore they are cash only. Large amounts of drugs and cash can attract crime.
-In other states that have passed medical marihuana amendments, teens use marihuana at higher rates, marihuana-related emergency room visits increase, child pot poisonings and drugged driving fatalities rise.
-The use of land for cultivation, processing or dispensing of marihuana could pose serious adverse effects and irreparable harm to the public health, safety and welfare of citizens.
- Hydroponic marihuana farms use large amounts of water and electricity as well as pesticides, fertilizers and other chemicals that might have a negative impact on the environment.  They require intense lighting, huge fans and ventilation systems (noise), can attract crime, industrial traffic, security includes armed guards, video cameras, security fences
-Processing cannabis can involve odors, health and safety issues for employees. Production of butane hash oil can be dangerous as the process involves highly flammable liquids. City fire services must be considered.
Scheduled Classes

Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, November 14
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
East Superior Christian Church - Alma

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, November 13
1:00 p.m.
YFC- Alma , 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.

ACT Raising safe Kids Parenting Class
Parents of Children 0-8 Years Old
Mondays and Wednesdays
November 1, 6, 8, 15, 20, and 22
12:00 - 2:00 p.m.
Wilcox Non- Profit Room 110 - Alma

To register for the ACT class please contact Morgan Rooy at (989)463-1422 or
Happy November!

If you notice that some of our local law enforcement are sporting new beards that is because the St. Louis Police Department has challenged the Alma Police Department to a little "No Shave November" fun!  The MI State Police and Child Advocacy's Shop with a Hero event will be the lucky recipient's of the money collected by the two departments.  Stop in to one of these two Police Departments and drop off your donation.  All proceeds will benefit the Shop with a Hero Christmas Outreach program.

I would like to thank Sgt. Steve Benn, with the MI State Police, for his years of service to Child Advocacy as a member of the Board of Directors.  Sgt. Benn joined the Board in 2014 after working with us for a few years on developing the Children's Advocacy Center program.  Once the CAC was up and running we decided we couldn't let Sgt. Benn go and asked him to join our Board.  He has been a valuable asset to our team and we all wish him the very best.  Thank you Steve!

Happy Thanksgiving from our family here at Child Advocacy!

Audra Stahl
President & CEO