Turn To Us provides Thanksgiving feast
Isabella Sully, 7, delivers Thanksgiving meals to Jean Sickels and her children Gabe Showalter, 7, and Kadence Dilbert, 10, during the Turn To Us Thanksgiving meal. BRIAN W. MYSZKOWSKI/TIMES NEWS
Thanksgiving came to Jim Thorpe two days early, thanks to the nonprofit organization Turn To Us and plenty of volunteers.
“Tonight, we’re doing Thanksgiving for our clients,” said Alicia Kline, executive director of Turn To Us. “We have about 45 clients coming tonight with their family members to enjoy each other’s company and get a nice hot meal.”
Turn To Us, a 501c(3) organization that helps those affected by major or chronic illnesses throughout Jim Thorpe and Tamaqua, put the special holiday event together on Tuesday at the No. 242 Masons Lodge on Fifth and Center streets. About 20 volunteers gathered to prepare turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, corn, green beans and rolls for meals at 4 and 6 p.m. The turkeys were provided by Shawn Kresge Services in Jim Thorpe.
“We gave out 56 turkeys on Friday alone, between churches, nonprofits and Turn To Us,” Kresge said. “For this one, we’re helping them cook the turkeys. I enjoy helping out, cooking.”
Several student volunteers served as waitresses, taking drink and dinner orders for the crowd.
“I just like helping people out and giving them their food,” Isabella Sully, 7, said as she kept an eye on her tables.
Dessert was offered as well, with apple and pumpkin pies provided by Alpine Bakery and Deli in Jim Thorpe and 14 Acre Farm in Lehighton.
One of the key features of Turn To Us revolves around creating a strong, welcoming support system for those who have been through difficult times with serious medical conditions, and their efforts are certainly appreciated by the community.
“It’s the greatest thing that I’m invited, and they were able to get me out,” guest Eleanor Yale said. “Right now I’m struggling from treatments, and I’ll be getting an operation. This is the greatest thing, to get me out around the holidays, and I met so many beautiful people here.”
“Dinner was wonderful. Turn To Us is a wonderful place, they’re great people,” Jean Sickels said while enjoying the meal with her children Gabe Showalter, 7, and Kadence Dilbert, 10.
Volunteers and dinner guests alike enjoyed the hearty dinner and festive atmosphere, with the members of Turn To Us striving to make a memorable Thanksgiving for those in need.
“It gives people hope. Holidays aren’t always easy for people, sometimes they can be difficult,” Turn To Us board member Nicole Sully said. “But giving them a support structure and a sense of community can help people through the holidays. It’s always nice to feel appreciated, and we do appreciate them. We’re just blessed to be able to give back and help them.”