About Us

Our Mission and Story

When someone is overwhelmed with an autism or cancer diagnosis and thinks, “I don’t know where to turn for help,” we want them to turn to us.

Turn To Us, a 501c(3) organization serving Carbon County and the Tamaqua area.

The mission of Turn To Us is to advocate for individuals and their families who are living with autism or cancer by offering personalized assistance and connection to available resources in a compassionate and hopeful environment.  We feel no one deserves to fall through the cracks.  When someone is overwhelmed with a diagnosis and thinks, “I don’t know where to turn for help,” we want them to turn to us.

Turn To Us was founded in March 2015.  The doors to our office opened in July 2015 and we moved to a larger space in September 2016.  In 2020, we moved again to our permanent location in Nesquehoning.  From Googling “How To Start a Nonprofit” to where we are today has been a miracle and blessing.  Our programming is client driven: we see a need, we address that need.

We did not do this alone! Our mission was very well received because cancer and autism impacts so many.  The outpouring of community support is astonishing.  We are growing every day – both in client referrals and donations.

Your investment in Turn To Us is staying in Carbon County and the surrounding areas.  We are helping your family, friends, neighbors, and coworkers.  Your donation directly makes a difference in their journey with autism or cancer.

Executive Director Alicia Kline and the one and only Keegan. He has inspired so much of TTU.

Program Details

Over the last 6 years, Turn To Us assisted over 250 individuals diagnosed with a wide range of major or chronic illnesses.  During COVID, we, like most organizations, evaluated our programming.  In 2020, 46% of people who turned to us were impacted by autism, 23% were impacted by cancer, 10% diabetes, and about 30% of the individuals had other diagnoses (MS, fibromyalgia, heart disease, genetic disorders, RA).  The percentage is higher than 100 due to comorbidities.

Focusing on the top two diagnoses, autism and cancer, will lead to improved programs.

Turn To Us provides:
  • Connection to local and national organizations, services, and resources
  • Financial assistance for medical bills, utility bills, food, and gas gift cards
  • Emotional support through our Spectrum of Support series, online groups, and outreach programs
  • Spectrum Sensory Gym for children diagnosed with autism and sensory processing disorder

Meet the Board and Staff

Turn To Us is grateful to have such an amazing founding Board of Directors! Each bring a vast knowledge of the medical field and a personal story why they believe in our mission. It is this drive, passion, and compassion that makes this team so invaluable.  Our staff is dedicated to providing one on one connections with our clients and going above and beyond for each one.

ALICIA KLINE

Founder & Executive Director

Alicia obtained a BS in Chemistry from Lycoming College in 2001.  After 10 years in the field, she moved back to her hometown of Jim Thorpe to raise her children.  She founded Turn To Us in 2015.  Since then, she earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from ASU and an Autism Certificate from IBCCS.  She also completed training to become a PA State Certified Community Health Worker.

KERI MARKLEY

Resource Coordinator

Keri is a special needs mom.  She has worked as a radiation therapist at LVHN for 9 years.   

JOHN P. EVANS

President

MARIA MCGINLEY, PA-C

Treasurer

 

DR. NICOLE SULLY

Secretary

Nicole has been a family medicine physician for 14 years at Parkland Family Health Center.  She also has 7 years of administrative experience working for the Lehigh Valley Physician Hospital Organization (LVPHO) where she is responsible for working with providers to improve the quality and cost of medical care.

BECKY WORTHY

Fundraising Chair

Becky works for St. Luke’s University Health Network specializing in chemotherapy, home infusion, and specialty medications. She is a contract specialist leading the role in obtaining new limited distribution medicines into the network for both employees and patients.  

SHALMAR HERLIHY-MANTZ

Board Member

Shalmar is a life long resident of Carbon County.  She has 25 years of experience in education and 18 years in special education.

REYNA SARNOWSKI

Board Member

ROBYN PLESNIARSKI

Board Member

Robyn is a native to the area.  She has almost 30 years of healthcare experience, 23 of them in Oncology.  She currently represents LVHN in Carbon and Monroe counties, building relationships with Providers and Communities.