CA with tag line 

 525 N. State Street  Suite 4 Alma, MI 48801 
(989) 463-1422
 
"There is no single effort more radical
in its potential for saving the world
than a transformation of the way we raise our children."               
               - Marlanne Williamson 
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 
Executive Director
   
Pam Mahin
Office Manager
 
Ty Warczinsky 
GCSAC Coordinator
 
 Richelle Davis 
Prevention Educator
 
Michelle Zombeck 
 CASA Coordinator
 
Heather Gardner  
 CAC Coordinator 

Heather Therrien  
CAC Case Coordinator
 
Staci Bigelow
Event/Volunteer Coordinator
 
 

Board of Directors 

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

Secretary 
 Kelly Piotrowski
Dept. of Human Services
  
Steve Benn
Detective/Sgt.
MI State Police


Sara Bonacci
Sara Bonacci Photography

Wendy Currie 
Mid MI District Health Dept

Colleen Davis
Prosecuting Attorney's Office 
   
Rob DuHadway
DuHadway Dance Dimensions 

Tammy Halfmann
Mercantile Bank

David Justin
 Alma School Board
  
Mike Morris
Detective, Gratiot Co. Sheriff's Dept. 
  
Jamie Richardson
Doehring Schultz Insurance Agency

Matt Schooley
City of Alma Transportation

 
Jennifer Siefker
Tri Lakes Petroleum
  
Jennifer Stambaugh
DeafBlind Central CMU
 
Steve Vernon
 Gratiot Co. Comm. Mental Health 

Joe Yourchock
Community Representative
 

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
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 
 
The sites accept
prescription pills and patches.
Your Feedback!

"Loved how the book tied into the craft, and the craft was adjustable for different ages. We learned about sharing and being nice to your friends."
Miss Melissa's Daycare utilized the Lending Library to bring mindful play to the children at her Daycare. 

Quick Links

 
Join Our Mailing List
 

March is Parenting Awareness Month! 
 
We all parent our children in different ways. Each step we take towards becoming better parents can make a big difference. Consider attending one of our scheduled parenting classes, visit our lending library, or contact our office for helpful resources.
Gaining knowledge and information about raising children is the key to successful parenting.

Spring is right around the corner and it's time to start training for our Superhero 5K event!  We offer activities for the entire family - run, walk, or fly through the course!

March is full of Possibilities. 
 

Enjoy,
Child Advocacy Staff
Check out our website www.linkforfamilies.org.
Upcoming Events 


Charity Basketball Game
Alma High School Alumni vs. Ithaca High School Alumni
Friday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Alma High School Gymnasium
Proceeds to benefit Child Abuse and Neglect programs
of Gratiot County. 


Child Advocacy Superhero 5K
Please mark your calendar for our annual 5K race! 
Saturday, May 7 at 9:00 a.m.
Alma Armory, 710 N. State St.

Online registration is now available at runsignup.com 


Child Advocacy Banquet
Join us as we celebrate those who advocate and care for children and for those who strive to improve the welfare of children and their families! 
Wednesday, May 18
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

Please call the Child Advocacy office at (989) 463-1422 to purchase tickets in advance.
An Interview with Court     Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Volunteer Karen Kerr
By: Michelle Zombeck
 
Tell us a little about yourself: My name is Karen Kerr and I live in Mt. Pleasant.  I am married with 3 children. I was a medical office manager for 18 years before I retired about 3 years ago. 

How did you learn about CASA? I learned about CASA when I was serving on the Foster Care Review Board. I was very interested in CASA then, because I saw how volunteers could work directly with kids and make a difference in their lives. 

Why did you choose to be a CASA volunteer? I wanted to work directly with kids and hopefully make a positive impact on their lives. 

How long have you been a volunteer? I have been a volunteer for 2 years.

Do you think the CASA program makes a difference in the judicial process? Yes, I feel the CASA program gives foster kids "a voice".

What type of person would make a good volunteer?  For me, a good volunteer would be someone who has a passion for children and someone who is able to hear their individual story. A good CASA volunteer will do everything in their power to help the child/children achieve the best possible life. 

Do you feel like you are making a difference? Yes, I feel like I am making a difference. At times, I get discouraged, but then I look at where the children were, and where they are now, and it is very exciting. 

Can you share the moment when you knew you were making a difference? I knew I was making a difference when law enforcement contacted me when the children were in a crisis and asked me for my opinion on what would be best for the children. 

What do you think people should know about children in foster care? Children in foster care are regular kids who are in foster care through no fault of their own. Most of the kids want to go "home", and be with their family. Many of the children in foster care have been through more than a lot of adults. I am always amazed at how resilient the foster children are.

What has been your most memorable moment as a volunteer? My most memorable moment is when "my foster kids" were placed in a wonderful pre-adoptive home and were able to relax and experience being a child.

How much time does it take to be a volunteer? The time I spend varies a lot dependent on what is going on in the case at the time but on average 10 to 15 hours a month. I usually can set my own schedule. 

What do you want people to know about CASA? CASA volunteers are all just regular people who have a passion for children and are looking for a way to help kids. CASA volunteers are very well supported by the CASA Coordinator and their CASA peers. The court system values the CASA volunteers and listens to their opinions. I would be thrilled if all foster children could be supported by a CASA volunteer.     
To learn more about how you can make a difference in the life of a child contact: Michelle Zombeck at Child Advocacy by calling 989-463-1422 or emailing michelle@linkforfamilies.org
March is Parenting Awareness Month
By: Pam Mahin

A little over 20 years ago, Michigan parent Stewart Mandell, noticing the focus on "drug-free" youth, felt the need to 
promote parenting itself, the foundation and long-term commitment for helping children to be happy, healthy, and
drug-free. He interested a local parent group, Birmingham-Bloomfield Families in Action (BBFA), in the idea of a
parenting awareness time during the month of March.

With the support of Prevention Network, a statewide 
program, the idea grew into a year around initiative. In 1993, the Michigan State Legislature first recognized March as Parenting Awareness Month. Each year since that time, Michigan's Governors, State Legislatures, Boards of Education, and many county and local leaders have declared March as Parenting Awareness Month with state, county, and local resolutions. 

So, how can you celebrate Parenting Awareness Month? 
Have fun. Be active and engaged with the children in your
life. Read together, go for a walk, catch a movie, have
family game nights, cook dinner together. As long as you
are sharing time with them, no matter what the activity, 
they will enjoy the time spent bonding with you.

For more information about Parenting Awareness Month, 
check out the Prevention Network Positive Parenting
information at:
Princess & Pirates Party
The second annual Princess and Pirates Party fundraiser was a smashing success! Thank you DuHadway Dance Dimensions, Miller Auto Sales, Alma Products Company, Sara Bonacci Photography, Central MI Youth for Christ, Reynolds Family Clowning, Mercantile Bank, Kiwanis Club, Alma-St. Louis Rotary, Mt. Pleasant Abstract & Title Co., Colleen Davis, Alma Poms and our many, many volunteers for supporting the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County.
 
Scheduled Classes
 
Foster/Adoptive/Relative Care Support Group
Tuesday, March 8
6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
Central Michigan Youth for Christ - Alma

Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for the class.

ACT Raising Safe Kids Program
April 11,13,18,20,25,27
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m
.
Wilcox Non-Profit Center- Alma

Please call our office at (989) 463-1422 to register for the class.
Happy Spring?!?  Maybe?  As I am writing this there is a bit of a blizzard happening outside my window. 

Thank you to all of you who donated your time, talents, resources, and/or money to our 2nd annual Princess and Pirates Fundraiser to benefit the Children's Advocacy Center of Gratiot County. With your help we were able to raise close to $3000 to help us provide Forensic Interviews and Victim Advocacy to children who are victims of abuse and neglect.  We truly can not run these meaningful and worthwhile programs without the help of this community.  Thank you!

This Spring we have a lot of fun things happening.  First up is our Alumni Charity Basketball Game.  We are looking for Alumni Varsity Basketball Players from Alma and Ithaca high schools to square off on Friday, April 8th at 7:00pm at the Alma High School Gymnasium.  We will have children's games, face painting, a raffle, performances by DuHadway Dance Dimensions, and the Alma/Ithaca Alumni Pom Pon squad.  It's going to be a great night full of fun and surprises!  Entry into the event is $5.  Proceeds to benefit our Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention programs. 

Mark your calendar for our 9th annual 5K event on Saturday, May 7th at the Alma Armory!  This year's event will once again be a Superhero event full of fun surprises.  Register early for a discounted rate.

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Sincerely,
Audra Stahl
Executive Director