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Volunteer in Jamaica

Great Shape! Inc. sets its 2013 mission schedule


Helping children: Dr. Sherwin Shinn enjoys the smiles of Jamaican students during a 1000 Smiles Dental Project clinic.
Dental professionals, students, friends and family who want to combine travel to Jamaica and volunteer service can participate in the 1000 Smiles Dental Project clinics in Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Whitehouse this summer and fall.

The program, a collaboration between the Oakland, Calif.-based charity Great Shape! Inc., The Sandals Foundation, Sandals Resorts International and the Jamaican Ministry of Health, provides free dental care and education in rural schools and health clinics to some 15,000 people in Jamaica every year. The project enlists the help of more than 300 volunteers who provide care in areas that have one dentist for every 100,000 people.

Dr. Sherwin Shinn, the 2013 ADA Humanitarian Award recipient, is the co-founder of Great Shape! Inc.'s 1000 Smiles Dental Project.

"I'm always excited about having new volunteers see what's possible in Jamaica and get fulfillment from this type of work, so they'll want to continue serving on their own," said Dr. Shinn. "I've been lucky in that I've been able to blend what I strive for professionally and personally. I've been able to use my education and skills in dentistry to create fulfillment in my personal life."

Volunteers can serve at a site for one or two weeks. All volunteers pay an $800 project fee and their own airfare. The program provides accommodations, meals, entertainment and island transportation through Sandals Resorts International. Volunteer teams provide cleanings, extractions, sealants, restorations and dental education in portable dental clinics in several communities in each program region. Last year, volunteers provided education in 32 schools and donated $2 million in dental services.

This year's clinic locations and dates are Negril, Aug. 30-Sept. 16; Montego Bay, Sept. 20-Oct. 7; Ocho Rios, Oct. 18-Nov. 4; and Whitehouse, Nov. 8-25.

For more details or to register, visit gsjamaica.org or call 1-510-893-1751.

To learn more about international volunteer opportunities, call the ADA Division of Global Affairs at 1-312-440-2726, email international@ada.org or visit internationalvolunteer.ada.org.