California-based nonprofit soliciting volunteers for mission trips

 

Organization co-founded by Sherwin Shinn, D.D.S., recipient of 2013 ADA Humanitarian Award.

Great Shape!, a California-based nonprofit that operates its 1000 Smiles volunteer dental projects, seeks volunteers to bring free dental care to Jamaica and other overseas locations in 2024.

The organization was co-founded more than 20 years ago by Sherwin Shinn, D.D.S., recipient of the 2013 ADA Humanitarian Award.

Great Shape!’s Spring Sealant project in Jamaica needs volunteers from April 26-May 5, when a dental team will provide sealants, fluoride varnish and oral health and hygiene education at a rural primary school.

Volunteers pay for their airfare and a $975 project fee. In addition, dental professionals will also pay some volunteer registration-related fees and for some pharmaceuticals.

Thanks to a partnership with the Henry Schein Cares Foundation, most disposable supplies are provided.

Registration began Feb. 14. Those who apply online and put “ADA special” in the comments section of the application can pay a discounted project fee of $950.

There is no deadline. Volunteers can sign up as long as the trip has openings.

All-inclusive accommodations at Sandals Resort and in-country transportation are covered, and expenses are tax-deductible.

Great Shape! acknowledges that the U.S. State Department has a travel advisory for Jamaica, which has been in effect at the same level since 2022.

Joseph Wright, founding executive director of Great Shape!, said, “Great Shape! operates extraordinarily safe and well-organized projects, putting volunteer safety at the top of our priority list.”

The nonprofit is also planning volunteer trips to St. Lucia and Grenada. It was primarily serving Jamaica until expanding to St. Lucia in 2015, Grenada in 2018, and Turks & Caicos in 2021.

Volunteers will spend one week providing free dental care and education to people in high-need communities in St Lucia or Grenada in temporary rural dental clinics. In the evenings and weekends, volunteers stay at a Sandals resort.

  • Project dates in 2024 for St. Lucia are July 19-28 or July 27-Aug. 5. Follow-up care week will be Aug 2-11.
  • Project dates for Grenada are Aug. 15-24 or Aug. 24-Sept. 2. Follow-up care week will be Aug. 30-Sept. 8.

Volunteers can choose which week and island they desire.

Volunteers for all trips can be dentists, hygienists, dental assistants, office staff, dental students, dental hygiene students, family, friends, and anyone with a heart and a passion to serve others, according to Great Shape!

Applications are online at greatshapeinc.org.

For more information about Great Shape! call 1-510-893-1751 or email 1000smiles@greatshapeinc.org.

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