CA with tag line 

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


I believe that the best way to inspire a quality, or even a habit, in our kids is to cultivate it in ourselves. This means that, parenting is a constant journey of learning and growth, of looking outward, toward my children, to see the areas in which I need to work at improving myself.

- Hannah Guari Ma
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
 
 
Board of Directors  

President
Carolyn Studley
Community Represenative
   
Vice President 
Matt Schooley
Alma City Manager
 
Secretary
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency
   
Treasurer
Sara Bonacci
Community 
Represenative

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
Detective/Sgt. Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
     
Alison Morrison
Dept. of Health and Human Services 
 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
  
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Integrated Health Network
 
Mark Williams
Alma Public Safety Administrator 

Joe Yourchock
CMHCM/Community Representative

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.
 Hours 
8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday
 
Breckenridge Police Dept.
 104 E. Saginaw St.
Hours
8:00 a.m.- 5:00  p.m.
Monday - Friday
 
St. Louis Police Dept.
108 W. Saginaw St.
Hours
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
Parent's Choice™ Gentle or Enfamil Gentlease® Formula (purple can) 
Diapers- Sizes 3,5,6
Wipes 
Bibs
Boys shoes
Boy's Clothing Sizes  3, 4, 5, &  6
Girls Clothings Sizes
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

Your Feedback!

Thank you all so much for everything this summer! You each do such amazing and important work and it was very inspiring to watch first hand how each program runs and how dedicated you all are. 

- Former CMU Intern

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

Please join us in our fundraising efforts by participating in our Game Day Challenge, attending or donating to our Trivia Night, or donating to our Baby Pantry. Details can be found below regarding these opportunities. We truly value the support given to us by the community we serve. 

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

Game Day Challenge
Bring $5.00 to work on Friday, October 19th and sport your MSU or UM gear!!
If the team you are sporting loses the big game on Saturday, October 20th then owe another $1.00 on Monday. 

Whoever raises the most money will get the traveling trophy to display for the next year!! Any version of the game challenge is acceptable, the goal is to raise money for child abuse and neglect prevention.

Contact Staci at (989)463-1422 for more information.

Trivia Night
Saturday, November 17
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
Alma Elks Lodge #1400 - Alma


If you are interested in playing or have a donation please contact Staci at (989) 463-1422 or staci@linkforfamilies.org
RISE Above the Stigma
Submitted by: Sara Krebs
GCSAC Prevention Coordinator 


On Monday, September 17, 2018 over 300 Alma College students, staff and Gratiot Community Residents gathered at Alma College's Hogan Center to hear the story of Corey Warner, a recovering heroin addict and alcoholic and Jacque Liebner, his mother. This event, "RISE above the Stigma," was organized as a collaborative effort between Child Advocacy's Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition(GCSAC), Gratiot Integrated Health Network (GIHN), Alma College, and Mid State Health Network. The goal of the event according to GCSAC's Coalition Coordinator Emily Whipple was to "raise awareness in the community about the different stigmas that surround substance use and abuse and how anyone can overcome these challenges if they have the appropriate tools."

Together Corey and Jacque shared their story- this unique and inspiring speaking event was told from the viewpoint of both the addict and his family. They shared their personal journey through addictions, the heartache that it has caused and ways in which they have worked to heal, find health and peace. After the main speaking event, a panel discussion followed. This was moderated by Patty Seymour from GIHN. The goal of the panel discussion was to provide further insight into the struggles and stigma that is associated with those in recovery and to provide information on local resources available to those struggling with addiction. The panel members included Matt Stack P.A.-C from MidMichigan Health, Vic Guajardo - Mindful Therapy, Bryan MacDonald-District Committee Member for the local AA, Rick Marcum- GIHN Recovery Coach, Corey Warner-  WAI-IAM, Jacque Liebner-WAI-IAM.
For additional information on Corey Warner and Jacque Liebner's personal story, please visit www.rrclansing.org . For additional information on services offered by GIHN visit www.gihn-mi.org .

If you are interested in learning more about the Gratiot County Substance abuse Coalition, please join us for our monthly meetings, which are open to the public and held the second Monday of the month at 1pm. The next meeting will be held October 8, 2018 at 1pm at the Gratiot Isabella RESD in Ithaca. If you have any questions, please contact Emily Whipple, Coalition Coordinator at emily@linkforfamilies.org or 989-463-1422.
Welcome Alexa Morton


My name is Alexa "Lexi" Morton and I am both very thrilled and appreciative to be working for such a great agency here at Child Advocacy. As the Substance Abuse Prevention Educator I am excited to be working with the youth in Gratiot County. I am confident that my knowledge will be shown through my passion for working with the youth. I graduated from Alma High School and continued my education at Spring Arbor University where I obtained my Bachelor's Degree in Social Work. I chose Social Work because I want to make a difference in my community and I am also passionate about helping others.

My background involves working in the office at Commission on Aging in Ithaca during my summer break from College in 2017. More recently, I did my internship with The Michigan Department Of Health and Human Services, where I interned with both Foster Care as well as Child Protective Services for a total of 400 hours. 

Working for such a great agency, that continues to do so many great things throughout the community, is something that I am excited to be a part of. I am very fortunate to be given this opportunity and am ecstatic to begin working with the youth in our community!
    
10 Safe Smart Rules for Kids & Grownups

Submitted by: Richelle Davis
CAN Prevention Educator

It is important to remind our children of these important rules to keep them safe while they are at school, sporting events, or holiday parties.

1.  I am the boss of my body.
2.  I always check first and get permission before I go anywhere.  If I can't check first, the answer is NO!
3.  I know my name, address, phone number, & parents' cell phone number, too.
4.  Safe grownups don't ask kids for help.  They go to other adults for assistance.
5.  I don't have to be polite if someone makes me feel scared or uncomfortable. It's okay to say NO! even to a grownup or bigger kid if I have to.
6.  Everyone's bathing suit areas are private!  No bathing suit area games are allowed.
7.  If I ever get lost in a public place, I can freeze and yell or go to a mom with kids and ask for help.
8.  I never go anywhere or take anything from someone I don't know, no matter what they say.
9.  I always listen to my own "inner voice", my "safety whistle", especially if I have the "uh-oh" feeling.
10.  I don't keep secrets from my parents.  No one should tell a child to keep a secret from their parents, especially if it involves their bodies.

Also remember to give your child the right to choose if they want to hug or kiss a relative hello or goodbye. When teaching them about body safety, make sure they know it is okay to tell a family member NO if they feel uncomfortable. 
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, October 9th 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 m organ@linkforfamilies.org.
 
Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Meeting
Monday, October 8
1:00 p.m.
RESD - Ithaca

Please call Emily at 989-463-1422 with any questions

Nurturing Parenting Program
For Parents of Teenagers
October 1,8,15,29,November 5, & 12
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Wilcox Non-Profit Center Room 112 - Alma

Certificates will be provided upon completion of the class.
To register or for more information please contact Morgan Rooy at (989)463-1422.
 
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.
Greetings,
Child Advocacy continues to grow and we are so excited to share new programs, new staff, and new events with you during this new school year!  First let me start by welcoming Alexa Morton to the Substance Abuse Prevention Team, Rachel Letsche as our new CASA Recruitment Coordinator, and Jennifer Leppien in a brand new position as our Parenting Coach.  We look forward to sharing more with you about our new staff and our new Parenting Coach program in future newsletters. 

Our annual Trivia Night is right around the corner!  You won't want to miss out on this fun and hilarious night.  Team spots are limited, so please sign up ASAP. 

As we continue to grow we encourage you to stop in and take a tour of our agency and the programs that we offer.  Visiting us is the best way to understand everything we do for children and families in our community. 
 
Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
President & CEO