Our Mission and Story
Turn To Us, a 501c(3) organization serving Carbon County and Northeast PA.
The mission of Turn To Us is to advocate for individuals and their families who are living with autism 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 a parent 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 by Alicia Kline with the mission to advocate for individuals with major or chronic illnesses. The doors to our office opened in July 2015 and we moved to a larger space in September 2016. In 2020, we moved to our permanent location in Nesquehoning. During COVID, we evaluated our programs and determined in order to serve the county’s needs to the best of our ability we had to pivot and focus down on the areas of greatest need – autism and cancer support.
In 2022, the Board of Directors and Alicia recognized we took the program as far as we could and needed to merge with a larger organization in order to reach the mission’s and sensory gym’s full potential.
TTU merged the cancer support programming with the Cancer Support Community of the Greater Lehigh Valley and the autism programming and sensory gym with NEPA Inclusive.
From researching “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, and 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.
We are excited to bring NEPA Inclusive’s programs down to Carbon County AND expand our Spectrum Sensory Gym into their service areas.
For more information visit www.NEPAInclusive.org
Over the last 7 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.
After focusing on the top two diagnoses, autism and cancer, through 2021, we recognized that we hit our limit with how far we could take the mission. Moving forward, Turn To Us will only offer autism support programming and the sensory gym. However, our new merger with NEPA Inclusive means new programs are coming to Carbon! Check out www.NEPAInclusive.org!
Turn To Us provides:
- Connection to local and national organizations, services, and resources
- Emotional support through our 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.
Turn To Us Founder and NEPA Inclusive Development and New Business Coordinator
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.
Frank Bartoli is the founder and CEO of NEPA Inclusive and the new CEO of Turn To Us. His career spans more than 25 years of successful non-profit leadership experience.
Turn To Us Past President and NEPA Inclusive 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.
Jonathan graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. He has been working in the human services field for nearly 20 years. His first experience was working with juveniles in a secure facility setting. In this role, Jonathan helped these juveniles navigate the justice system while developing the skills needed to succeed in the community.
He then transitioned to the Director of Case Management at a local Community Action Agency. Jonathan worked to develop and operate programs geared toward low-income families. These services included utility assistance, rental assistance, homeless advocacy, and rental development.
Jonathan has experience working with many federal, state, and local programs. In addition, he has been involved with HUD, local housing authorities, and many other community organizations
Brett joined the Board of Directors nearly two years ago and soon took on the role of Chair. A claim manager for 22 years, Brett’s days are filled with managing, auditing, organizing, problem-solving, and other customer service responsibilities. He completed FINRA Series 6 and Series 63 and is the Wilkes University Leadership Development Certificate recipient. A graduate of Towanda High School and Lock Haven State University, Brett has been married to his wife, Kelli, for three years.
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.
Jim joined the NEPA Inclusive Board in 2021 to help expand the reach of the organization to meet the needs of people with disabilities in more communities. Jim is the Manager of Graduate Medical Education (West Region) at St. Luke’s University Health Network in Bethlehem where he has developed and implemented operational goals for graduate medical education (GME) programs. He leads GME business development across the health network, and has developed over 15 brand-new medical residency/fellowship programs. Jim is an FAA licensed pilot, ultra-marathon runner, and active triathlete. He holds a position on the Board of Directors for the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) – Eastern PA Chapter, and at Dale Realty LTD, Plains, PA, and Red House Realty Inc, Scranton, PA.
Jeffrey shared a home with his mother until she passed away several years ago during the holidays. Determined to move through his grief and loneliness, Jeffrey started In-home Community Supports and Employment Support with NEPA Inclusive and in a short time, he was working a part-time job which enabled him to successfully maintain a home on his own, start new friendships, and soon become chair of the NEPA Inclusive Recreation Committee.
NEPA Inclusive recognized Jeffrey as Volunteer of the Year last year and by Luzerne County Mental Health and Developmental Services during their Celebration of Abilities awareness event.