CA with tag line 

 525 N. State Street  Suite 4 Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422
"A Mother understands what a child does not say."
In This Issue
First Aid Training
Child Advocate of the Year
Child Advocacy Superhero 5K
Telling Their Stories through Art
Provider Appreciation Day
Scheduled Classes

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 
Executive Director
Ronda Sorensen
 Parent Educator  


Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator


Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Coordinator
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator
Heather Gardner
 CAC Coordinator
Michelle Zombeck
 CASA Coordinator 
Brenda Shafley
Office Assistant 

Board of Directors 

Wes Wickes
Youth for Christ
Vice President 
Jennifer Leppien
Carolyn Studley
  Community Representative

 Kelly Piotrowski
Dept. of Human Services

Lori Apple
Comm. Mental Health - Isabella Co.
 Wendy Currie
Mid Michigan Dist. Health Dept. 
Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
Toni Davis
Women's Aid Service
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions

Donalynn Ingersoll
Principal, Luce Rd. Elementary  
David Justin
 Alma School Board
Mike Morris
Detective, Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU
Kim Vetter
MI State Police
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 Drop Off



Alma Police Dept.

525 E. Superior St.

Mon. - Fri. 

8 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Gratiot Co. Sheriff

226 E. Center


open 24 hrs./day

7 days/week


Both sites accept

prescription pills, liquids, and patches.


Lung Clinic

Lung cancer is the leading cause of deaths from cancer for both men and women. Tobacco use causes 87 percent of all deaths from lung cancer. Mid-Michigan Cancer Center is offering smoking cessation education.

If you are interested in learning more about the Lung Clinic, a free telephone screening is available by calling
(press 2).

Quick Links

Join Our Mailing List



"Every child needs a hero,

but abused children need Superheros!" 


This is the slogan for our annual 5K event this year.   Please consider participating in our Superhero 5K - costumes are encouraged but not required.  Participation could include walking, running, or volunteering.  Superhero capes will be for sale the day of the race.  All proceeds go to providing programs and education materials to help prevent child abuse and neglect. 



Child Advocacy Staff


Check out our website

Foster Parent/Adoptive/Relative Care 
First Aid Training
by Ronda Sorensen
Parent Educator
The Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group will meet on May 13 at 6:00 at the Youth for Christ building on Cheesman Rd in Alma.  This will be our last meeting until the annual picnic which will be in August. 


At the May support group, Child Advocacy will be hosting a very special training. As many of you may be aware, recent changes in licensing requirements have resulted in mandatory training in first aid for all licensed foster parents.  Pam Mahin, from Child Advocacy, will be providing that training for any foster parents who may still be in need of it.  Upon completion, foster parents will receive their first aid certification.  This will be an excellent opportunity for many foster parents who have not yet participated in the monthly support group.  Please join us and see what we are all about. 
Child Advocate of the Year

Congratulations to Doni Schumacher and Jennifer Shephard. They were both deserving of the
Child Advocate of the Year award this year!  Doni Schumacher is a counselor at Ithaca Public schools.  She goes above and beyond to provide programs to ensure the social-emotional needs of hundreds of students are met.  Doni has enacted a comprehensive school culture program in the Ithaca Elementary Schools.  
Jennifer Shephard works in the Gratiot County Prosecutor's Office.  Before being promoted to chief assistant, she prosecuted and litigated the entire child abuse and neglect juvenile caseload for the prosecutor's office.  Last year, there was one case where Jennifer went above and beyond to seek justice for a teenage girl.  The offender was sentenced to 15 - 50 years in prison.
Organization of the Year was awarded to  Gratiot County Community Mental Health (GCCMH).  GCCMH was recognized for the number of services they provide to Gratiot County residents.  Last year they were instrumental in developing a Free Clinic and the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County.  GCCMH is a collaborative partner to many agencies within the county.

Child Advocacy Superhero 5K


Saturday, May 10

9:00 a.m.

Alma Armory - 710 N. State

Online registration at 

Registration forms are available at 


Early registration deadline is May 2 


"Every child needs a hero, 

but abused children need superheroes!"


All proceeds go to Child Abuse and

 Neglect programs in Gratiot County.



By: Heather Gardner




One of the goals of The Children's Advocacy Center (CAC) is to create a warm environment for the child and their family; as well as to help them on their path to healing.  Once the child has completed their forensic interview we ask them to choose from a large assortment of buttons we have.  The child will sift through the different choices and pick one that is special to them.  We then show them our "jar of wishes".  This jar collects the buttons and wishes of every child we serve at the CAC. When the child places their button into the jar, we ask them to make a wish.  Once the child makes their wish and places it into the jar, we put the lid back on the jar and let them know that we will keep their wishes safe here in this jar with all the other kids wishes.  We do not ask the child what their wish is, that is something special for them to keep.  


We also have an assortment of quilts, afghans and blankets in the CAC.  Before the child leaves the CAC they are offered one of these to select and take with them.  We have a nice variety of these blankets on hand, so the child is able to pick one that suits their personality. The children love to take their new blanket home with them.  They often wrap themselves up in it and often they will wrap it around their shoulders and use it as a cape to fly out of the CAC. This, is a wonderful moment, for this is the moment we get to see that first step towards healing begin.


We are able to provide our children with these items due to the generous donations of some wonderful people and organizations in our community. A heartfelt thank you to; Audrie Lockwood, The Mid-Michigan Quilters Guild, Alma United Methodist Women, The Linus Ladies of the First Presbyterian Church and Alma Women's Club Members-Jeiselle Ortisi and Mary Hurley for donating wonderful blankets, afghans and quilts to the CAC.  We would also like to thank Sandy Sandel for donating a fantastic assortment of buttons to be used in our jar of wishes. Thank you! Thank you! 



Telling Their Stories

Submitted by 

Michelle Zombeck 

and Ty Warczinsky




May is a month of growth and beauty which is the perfect back drop for Child Advocacy's "Telling Their Story" exhibition.  Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Gratiot County and the Gratiot County Substance Abuse Coalition (GCSAC) has joined forces to put on an amazing art show that involves children using art to express their feelings and emotions.


CASA is a group of specially trained volunteers and professionals that advocate for children involved in abuse and neglect cases.  Through The Art of Healing Project, children who are being served by a CASA paint canvasses to express their feelings and share their experience. Each child's canvas sends a powerful message about the effects of abuse and neglect.  These paintings expand the depth of the relationship between the CASA and the child.

is a countywide collaborative decision-making body of community members that address issues of substance abuse and suicide prevention in Gratiot County.  The Coalition is partnering with area schools to provide an Above the Influence campaign to youth with the goal of helping teens stand up to negative pressures and influences. One component of the campaign is to have students create their own visual expressions of the Above the Influence symbol.  This activity allows the students an opportunity to decide what is important to them and what it really means to live Above the Influence.


Painting is a self soothing experience that can facilitate the ability to verbalize feelings and encourage the expression of traumatic events assisting an adolescent with Telling Their Story.


The exhibition opens at the Alma College Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery Tuesday, May 6th through May 22nd with an opening reception on May 6th from 5:30 until 7:00 p.m.  The community is invited to come meet the artists, the special program volunteers, and to learn more about CASA and Above the Influence.  For more information please call Child Advocacy (989) 463-1422.


Click here to view the event flier.


Provider Appreciation Day
by Pam Mahin
RRC Coordinator

Friday, May 9 is a special day to recognize child care providers, teachers and other educators of young children everywhere. Started in 1996 by a group of volunteers in New Jersey, Provider Appreciation Day is appropriately celebrated each year on the Friday before Mother's Day. The founding organizers saw the need to recognize the tireless efforts of providers who care for children of working parents. Momentum and support for this event has grown each year and recognition presently includes individuals and government organizations throughout the United States. 


I am a Child Care Provider
I don't wear power suits, make speeches, or drive a fancy sports car.
I've never talked on a car phone, made a big sale, or been elected to the senate.
I don't "do lunch", have a big impressive office, or carry a beeper.
I spend most my days wiping away tears, giving hugs, and serving chicken nuggets.
A good day is when I go a whole 9 hours without a temper tantrum, bite mark, or a toilet training accident.
My office is a room full of brightly colored toys and laughing children. 
You may not think that what I do is very important. And you may even whisper behind my back,
"What a waste of a good mind."
But I know better. 
I make a difference because I am changing the world, one child at a time.
Everyday I am getting a once-in-a-lifetime chance to touch the future. 
I am proud to say, "I am a Child Care Provider."

-- Author Unknown --


Even though Provider Appreciation Day is only one day out of the entire year, please know that we celebrate you EVERYDAY of the year!  Thank you for all that you do for the youngest members of our communities!

Scheduled Classes


Childcare Provider Trainings

(parents are welcome to attend)



Nutrition: It's More Than Just Food!

Saturday, May 17

2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

McLaren Central Michigan Hospital - Mt. Pleasant
3 hours of training credit 
Fee $25
Visit to register.

Self Assessment Survey (SAS) Workshops
Isabella County 
May 15 and May 27
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Veteran's Memorial Library - Mt. Pleasant
2 hours of training credit per workshop - No charge

Gratiot County
May 21 and May 28
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Alma Public Library 
2 hours of training credit per workshop - No charge

Other Trainings/Groups 


Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group

Tuesday, May 13

6:00 p.m.

Youth for Christ - Alma 


Please call our office with questions about any of the above classes/workshops at (989) 463-1422.

Calling all Superheroes!!!  We need you to run, walk, or fly at our annual 5K event!  This is our largest fundraiser of the year and a great way to help support Child Abuse prevention programs in Gratiot County.  Please consider helping Child Advocacy make a difference in the life of a child by participating in this fun event!  Batman and Captain America will be joining the fun!  Come out and have your picture taken with a real Superhero! 
See you at the Starting Line!
Audra Stahl
Executive Director