CA with tag line 

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

"The healthiest and most effective way to teach any child is building them up, not breaking them down."

- Angela Pruess
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
Garth Anderson
Commercial Bank
  
Treasurer
Sara Bonacci
Community 
Representative

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
   
Jim Dubey
Garr Tool 

Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions

Andrew Fias
Michigan State Police

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

Katie Tobias
Katie Tobias State Farm

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

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List

Please take the time to like us on Facebook if you do not already follow us, Child Advocacy - Gratiot County.

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

Caregiver Support Group Virtual Meeting
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
6:00 p.m.

Please email Morgan at morgan@linkforfamilies.org for more information or for the presentation link.

Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition Virtual Meeting
Monday, October 12, 2020
1:00 p.m.

Please email Sara at sara@linkforfamilies.org for the presentation link.
Gratiot County Prescription Takeback Week
Submitted by: Sara Krebs
GCSAC Prevention Coordinator

The Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition works hard throughout the year to raise awareness for the importance of proper disposal of prescription medications. In addition to promoting the drop boxes throughout the year, we host a local Prescription Takeback week October 19th-October 24th that ends with the national takeback day on October 24th. This week we aim to raise awareness about all of our Prescription Disposal Sites in Gratiot County, urge everyone to clean out their medicine cabinets (and dispose of medication properly), and contribute to the National Takeback Day. 

Last October, National Take Back Day brought in 882,919 pounds of unused or expired medications! The success of the national takeback days are thanks to communities like Gratiot County who work hard to dispose of outdated/unused medications. Since the fall of 2010, nearly 12.7 million pounds of unused or expired medications have been collected and disposed of safely.

Thanks to partnerships with local Law Enforcement Offices, throughout Gratiot County we have 4 Prescription Drop Box Locations:

In addition to the drop boxes, this year we have added the option of prescription disposal pouches. If you are unable to make it to one of the drop boxes, please contact us to have a FREE prescription disposal pouch mailed to your home. Each disposal pouch deactivates drugs in an environmentally friendly way. An individual pouch will deactivate 45 pills, 6 ounces of liquid or 6 medication patches. They are simple to use - simply open the pouch, add your medication, fill with warm water, wait 30 seconds, seal the pouch and dispose of in the trash.  

Thank you for taking your time to properly dispose of unused or outdated medications to help keep our community safe. For additional information, or to have a disposal pouch mailed to your home, contact the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition at 989-463-1422 or Prevention Coordinator Sara Krebs at sara@linkforfamilies.org.
Adapting Services during 
Covid-19 Precautions
Submitted by: Jennifer Stambaugh
CAC Victim Advocate

It has been an interesting past six months, but through all of the adjustments and challenges, our focus has not changed. Assuring child protection and supporting families during difficult times has remained a priority for the Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) at Child Advocacy. This has never been more important than during this past six months with stay home orders, online schooling, and many community services changing the way they support children and families due to COVID-19 precautions.

The CAC has continued to conduct face-to-face forensic interviews for allegations of physical and sexual abuse throughout. Beginning in Mid-March when stay at home orders for the State of Michigan were in place, the CAC quickly developed an updated protocol to include COVID-19 precautions, so there would not be a lapse in this essential service. The protocol updates included a COVID-19 screening process, the inclusion of updated sanitation practices per Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, and the wearing of masks.
Additionally, the follow-up services of the CAC have evolved during this time to address the barriers presented by COVID-19 restrictions. Many of the follow-up victim advocacy services lend themselves to distance means of follow-up such as by telephone or through use of technology (virtual). However, some of the follow-up services such as group facilitation took not only technology, but also a bit of planning and patience by those involved.

By April, we had maneuvered our way through the virtual world and were ready to begin implementing both our Middle School and High School Girls Art Therapy groups using technology. In all, there were 10 Girls Art Therapy groups held via Zoom during the spring and summer 2020 (see picture of Heart Stories projects below). As schools have now returned to some face-to-face instruction, and restrictions have lessened, we are looking forward to hosting our first Girls Art Therapy groups face to face since March. Although we will be back face-to-face this fall, it will look much different from in the past as we will be meeting outside, wearing masks, using additional sanitation measures, and will be assuring 6 feet social distancing. Nevertheless, we are so excited to see the girls back in person and are happy to take the added precautions for health and safety. We know that recommendations may once again evolve, but feel confident that we can adapt based on our previous experiences.

Heart Stories - "Art is the Voice of the Heart"


Greetings,

Today marks the first day of a new fiscal year for Child Advocacy.  Happy New Year!  Looking back on 2019/2020 I was amazed at how truly blessed we were to have so much support from our community.  Not only were we able to raise enough money for our new building, but we had enough financial support to get us through another year. We served over 6000 children and their families this year, and we were able to do that all thanks to YOU!

Next month we will be moving into our new building!  Woo!Hoo! We will also be rolling out a new website.  Please stay tuned for details about all of the new improvements happening here at Child Advocacy.

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
President & CEO