10 Nov

Our children need us —and you— now more than ever.

Today, CAN Council is asking for your help, so we can continue being here for each abused child and for every struggling parent. This pandemic has made our fundraising world incredibly challenging, and we are hoping you’ll consider a year-end gift to our CAN Council to get us through the pandemic.

  • $25 educates a student about child abuse and how to get help
  • $50 trains a new CASA volunteer
  • $100 provides a child abuse survivor with a Forensic Interview
  • $250 provides a child abuse survivor with a Medical Exam
  • $500 educates and supports a struggling parent
  • $1,000 gives an abused child a CASA volunteer

Please consider an end-of-year gift to our CAN Council to ensure – no matter what – we are equipped to continue protecting our children.

Make a contribution to: 
Bay/Arenac County | Huron County | Saginaw County

Our friends at Yeo & Yeo are matching dollar for dollar your gift through this appeal. That means the impact of your gift will be doubled for our organization! Please give as soon as you are able, and know your gift will be put right to work.




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26 Aug

Teachers are Superheroes.

As we prepare for the start of a new school year, students, parents and teachers are facing a unique set of concerns and challenges during this pandemic. Whether teachers connect with their students in a traditional classroom or through a virtual platform, the CAN Council is grateful to have them back in our children’s lives.

Teachers have one of the most important roles in society: they educate our future. A great deal of time is spent in the classroom, and significant resources are dedicated to this education. Yet just as significantly, our teachers serve another role in our children’s lives – that of a mandated reporter. As an educator, teachers are considered among the professions obligated to report suspected child abuse and neglect to authorities. It’s in this capacity that teachers offer solace and hope to children living in dangerous conditions. Fulfilling this role can be stressful and frustrating for a mandated reporter. Teachers tackle these emotions, along with the fear of retaliation, for the good of our children. For that, the CAN Council celebrates them as Superheroes!

“We are extremely grateful for teachers watching out for our children’s well-being, as they may be the only contact a child has outside of the home. During the isolation of COVID, even with children having little to no relief from abusers at home, our CAN Council still conducted a significant number of forensic interviews of abused children. This number is only expected to rise with students returning to school and to caring teachers who will report suspected abuse. Now more than ever we must rely on teachers as mandated reporters to report child abuse and neglect.” – Emily Yeager, CAN Council President/CEO

While their capes aren’t easy to detect, the care and compassion teachers have for our children is recognized and applauded! The CAN Council offers our deepest gratitude to teachers for taking on all the challenges of this school year, and for reporting suspected abuse among their students. Mandated reporters set the bar for all of our community: when anyone sees a sign of child abuse, they too can make an anonymous report to Children’s Protective Services at 855-444-3911.

To learn more about potential indicators of abuse and neglect, visit To schedule the CAN Council Mandated Reporting training, call our CAN Council office at (989) 752-7226. Presentations are offered virtually as well as in-person.

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02 Jul

How to celebrate Fourth of July with your family safely

With many of our traditional Fourth of July events cancelled this year due to the current health crisis, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate the holiday with your family safely!

Get creative and have fun this Independence Day! If you need some suggestions, here’s a list of safe and fun activities for you and your family to consider:

  • Go camping in your own backyard: Set up a tent and enjoy a night under the stars
  • Have a dance off: Light the night with glow sticks and dance to your favorite tunes
  • Pack a picnic and visit a local park: Remember to follow all posted signage
  • Make a festive snack or craft: Enjoy a patriotic DIY project with the kids
  • Watch a movie under the stars: Check YouTube to learn how to make a projector using your smart phone
  • Create a waterpark at home: Set up sprinklers and a splash pool filled with water balloons
  • Plan an online watch party: Enjoy a patriotic fireworks show online
  • Have a sports-a-thon: Plan a friendly competition with members of your household
  • Fly a kite: Add to the fun and build your own kite
  • Go for a bike ride: Enjoy a bike ride around your neighborhood or local park

Happy Independence Day, from all of us at the CAN Council!

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15 Jun

A message from CAN Council President/CEO Emily Yeager

An open letter to our communities:

Our nation, our families, our colleagues, our friends and our neighbors are hurting. We’re witnessing an abuse of power so great, we ache for those wronged, and we yearn for our world to be righted. The CAN Council is committed to being a part of resolving such injustices. That begins by acknowledging that not only do black lives matter, but they deserve to be cared for, defended and protected.

Sadly, abuse of power is nothing new. For centuries, authority figures and those we’re taught to trust have abused their power and caused great suffering targeting people based on their race, gender, age, socioeconomic status, religion and culture.

As a community, we’re wondering what we can do to counter such powerful forces. The answer is in the power of one. The power of one act of goodness, one courageous person, one company of integrity, one community united – to speak up for those vulnerable among us – is capable of creating meaningful change.

While our CAN Council works each day to harness our collective power of one for abused children, we know with great clarity the abuses of power suffered by other vulnerable populations. We hurt for you, we want better for you, and we lift our voices in support of you.

To the honorable men & women who dedicate their life’s work to serving and protecting, we stand with you in holding abusers of power accountable for their actions and in helping victims heal. To our community members who may wonder what impact you can make on an issue of such enormous complexity, I ask that you harness your power of one. Stay alert to all forms of abuse. Speak up against abuses of power. Get involved with a charity serving those harmed. And should you have thoughts about how our CAN Council could further our power of one, I’d love to hear from you.
I can be reached at

For the protection of our entire community and believing in the power of one,


Emily Yeager | President/CEO
CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region

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14 May

Teachers: How to Detect & Prevent Child Abuse & Neglect in a Virtual Classroom

Here are some ways to prevent and recognize child abuse and neglect in a virtual classroom setting, put together by our Prevention Education team.

Remember: If you suspect child abuse or neglect, call 855.444.3911.

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22 Apr

2020 Child Abuse Prevention Month: reCAP

Before the COVID-19 pandemic overtook our everyday lives, the CAN Council was gearing up for the most eventful Child Abuse Prevention (CAP) Month yet — with 133 pinwheel gardens committed, three county CAP Month Kick-Off Ceremonies booked, and Prevention Education trainings scheduled across Bay, Huron and Saginaw counties — the calendar was packed full of all sorts of Child Abuse Prevention events. That quickly changed as the virus continued to spread and a Stay-at-Home order was instructed, but it did not slow CAN staff down.

Within a week, a new virtual campaign was developed and implemented. Virtual pinwheel gardens were “planted” in the form of cover photos,  families colored pinwheels and displayed them proudly in their windows, and supporters all across Michigan participated in #WearBlueDay2020 in an effort to raise awareness of the healthy, happy, and full lives that all children deserve. CAN is particularly proud to have been able to offer our staple presentations to the community through a video series called Ryan Reads, which featured our Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers and Safer, Older, Smarter programs presented by CAN Council Prevention Education Coordinator Ryan Willard.

CAN also collaborated with community partners to offer a multitude of activities for families to participate in from the comforts of their home. The Saginaw Art Museum, Mid-Michigan Children’s Museum, Yoga by Kathryn, and artist Carly Peil all contributed to this initiative. We are so grateful for the support of our community in making Child Abuse Prevention Month such a success!

Rest assured; Child Abuse Prevention does not end in April. Real change happens within our homes, workplaces, faith organizations and community. Join the movement by scheduling a presentation, volunteering with CAN, or by donating towards our prevention efforts. Most importantly, SPEAK UP. If you see something, say something. Children who are facing abuse and neglect at home need us now, more than ever.  If you suspect child abuse, call 855.444.3911 – your call can be anonymous. Together we CAN stop child abuse and neglect.

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06 Apr

An open letter from our President/CEO.

Dear CAN Council Supporters,

No matter our differences, the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation has presented us all with a unifying concern. During this time of great uncertainty, it’s important to me that you know our CAN Council is continuing to take care of our most vulnerable children. We have a business continuity plan in place to ensure continued provision of our essential community services including forensic interviews and medical examinations of abused children, CASA home visits, court reports and representation at court hearings. With these exceptions as warranted by Law Enforcement and/or Children’s Protective Services, or by an obligation to the Court, CAN Council staff will be working from home.

Phone calls to all of our three locations – in Bad Axe, Bay City and Saginaw – are still being answered every day, and you can expect caring and prompt service from CAN Council staff. Given that our facilities are closed outside of the need for one of the essential community services listed above, we are unable to accept donations of goods delivered directly to our offices. If you’re planning a delivery to the CAN Council, please visit after the Governor allows us to return to work. We’ll look forward to seeing you then and thanking you for your generosity.

During times of great stress and isolation, children are at increased risk for being harmed by their caregivers. Please check-in on those in your life who are caring for our youth. Call and ask how they’re doing, offer encouragement, and remind them to take some time for themselves each day. If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, please make an anonymous report to Children’s Protective Services at 855-444-3911.

Lastly, I ask that you continue supporting the work of our CAN Council in one or both of the following ways: Because of the COVID-19 situation, our largest fundraising event for our Bay County programming is in jeopardy. Yet our services are needed now just as greatly as ever. Please consider donating to our CAN Council via or through a contribution sent to any of our offices. As we continue through these weeks of significant isolation, please regularly visit our CAN Council Facebook page and share our posts to keep our community informed of critical resources.

This situation will be short-lived, our lives will return to normal. Until then, know that our community can count on the CAN Council to protect our children today just as we did yesterday. If you have any questions or concerns, you’ll find me at 989-752-7226.

Wishing you good health and peace of mind,

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25 Mar

Child Abuse Prevention Month is going virtual!

Child Abuse Prevention Month is going virtual, and we want you to join us. Follow us on Facebook to keep up with what’s happening:

• Kid-friendly Safer, Older, Smarter and Berenstain Bears Learn About Strangers Program video presentations by CAN Council Prevention Education Coordinators
• Child Abuse Prevention tips and education from the CAN Council’s Prevention Programming
• Resources relevant to stress, anxiety and mental health management, talking to children about the COVID-19 Pandemic, adjusting to the “new normal”, etc.
• Collaborations with other community organizations featuring learning and arts & crafts activities

In these uncertain times, the children in our region need us now, more than ever. Let’s band together and flood social media with prevention programming and pinwheels!

Other ways to get involved:

• Create a masterpiece with your kiddos, your partner, or yourself and color our pinwheel coloring page. Show your support for Child Abuse Prevention by displaying it proudly and sharing it with us on Facebook! Download the Pinwheel Coloring Page

• “Plant” a virtual Pinwheel Garden by updating your Facebook cover photo to the below image! Right click the photo, save it, then set it as your cover photo.









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03 Mar

We Count Because Kids Matter. Complete your 2020 Census.

Public health and safety is absolutely critical at this moment of uncertainty in our world. But we must also fulfill our constitutional obligation to complete the 2020 Census and count every single person in the United States. For each person not counted, we lose out on $1,800 of annual federal funding. The Census is easy, confidential, and takes less than 10 minutes to complete. Did you know you can complete your census online, or on the phone? Check out

Our kids need vital services like WIC, Medicaid, school lunches, foster care, special education and so much more. Census data directs dollars to all of these important community services. Our kids deserve the best we have to offer. That’s why we need to count them.

• The Census is for everyone and it’s easy. Everyone matters with the Census. All populations count – immigrants, minorities, seniors, the homeless, babies, teens, people in jail – everyone! All people living in the same household should be counted. You don’t need to be related, a permanent citizen or over 18 to be counted.

The Census asks fewer questions than a social media profile. The questions are simple: age, name, gender, birthday, race/ethnicity, relationship to head-of-household, owner or renter and phone number. The few minutes it will take to answer the questions equals millions of dollars to our community for vital services and programs. Don’t let the services we need leave our community.

• By law everything you share stays confidential. No other government agencies will see your answers, including ICE, the FBI and CIA, police, landlords, the IRS or any other agency.

Complete the Census online or home or anywhere there’s internet access – on your phone, at the library, at a coffee shop, at your local nonprofit. Tell your family and friends too – the Census is important to us! The process is easy. You can respond online, by phone or mail. Also, the Census is secure, with strong cyber-security measures to protect your information.

The Census creates a better future. Census data is used for 10 years to decide local funding. There’s a lot of money at stake. In our area, each person equals about $1,800 a year in funding. In Michigan almost half of our funding comes from the federal government. If you don’t get counted, we risk losing vital services in Midland/Bay/Isabella/Saginaw (tailor by county).

• You can create a brighter future for our community when you complete the 2020 Census.
It’s easy, confidential and takes just 10 minutes.

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06 Feb

CAN Council Names Suzanne Greenberg 2020 Child Advocate of the Year

The CAN Council will honor its former President/CEO, Suzanne Greenberg, as the 2020 Child Advocate of the Year. The award honors an outstanding individual or group for being extraordinarily committed to making the Great Lakes Bay Region a better place for children. Greenberg will receive the award February 27th at the CAN Council’s 27th annual Mardi Gras Auction at Horizon’s Conference Center in Saginaw.

Greenberg played a significant role in the development of programming and services that the CAN Council offers throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. A passionate and visionary leader, Greenberg grew the Child Abuse and Neglect Council of Saginaw County from a staff of two in 1995 to a staff of 22 to serve the 65,000 children of Arenac, Bay and Saginaw counties as CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region by 2019.

In her new role as Executive Director of Michigan Children’s Trust Fund, Suzanne continues being a champion for the children of our region and for the children across Michigan.

The CAN Council Great Lakes Bay Region’s 27th annual Mardi Gras Auction presented by Garber Automotive and Causley Trucking is returning to Horizon’s Conference Center on Thursday, February 27, 2020 beginning at 5:30pm. Tickets can be purchased at

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