A whole lot of heart, dedication, and inspired intention went into the creation of Great Shape! Inc. Read on to learn our family’s history and how we came to value the power of inspired service.
Founded in 1988, Great Shape! Inc. was created by three strong, determined, and dedicated women who shared a passion for service and the greater Caribbean community. Myrtle Franklin, Georgene Crowe, and Gretchen Lee came together to build a non-profit organization that would bring literacy programs, dental care, eye care, and teacher training projects to the communities of Jamaica and St. Lucia. Whether they were nestled in their hometowns or traveling to the Caribbean, the birth of Great Shape! Inc. required each female founder to foster unstoppable dreams and practice unwavering loyalty to serving individuals in need.
Though Franklin, Crowe, and Lee were forever inspired to serve in Jamaica, there was a greater event that sparked their interest to create Great Shape! Inc. As Hurricane Gilbert destroyed most of Jamaica in 1988, the organization’s three female co-founders wanted to rebuild what had been lost and “create family” to heal the suffering of Jamaicans. To kick start their efforts, Franklin, Crowe, and Lee threw a Reggae party in Ashland, Oregon where they obtained ample amounts of resources and supplies that would serve their efforts toward rebuilding the island. With their duffle bags in tow, Great Shape! Inc.’s fearless female founders set off to begin the first of many impactful humanitarian efforts set forth by their organization.
At the wake of Hurricane Gilbert, Franklin, Crowe, and Lee were able to help build schools, community centers, roads, and sponsor students and uniforms in 1988. This was the true beginning of Great Shape! Inc. and its efforts to restore the Caribbean community. In 2003, the program 1000 Smiles was launched by Great Shape! Inc. and became the world’s largest, international, and humanitarian dental project. 2008 then brought SuperKids on the map. Great Shape! Inc. is proud to be home to SuperKids and its efforts to enhance literacy and the building of computer labs in the Caribbean school systems. During the year 2009, Great Shape! Inc. then launched its eye-care program known as iCARE then created its Dental Sealant Project in 2010. Finally, Great Shape! Inc. launched Teach the Teachers in 2011 to bring opportunities for professional development to Jamaican teachers.
Great Shape! Inc. is truly a labor of love created by individuals whose passion to serve is unprecedented. We are more than proud to share our history and the incredible milestones it took to bring forth endless humanitarian efforts to our beloved Jamaica and St. Lucia.
Here’s to many more years of continuing our legacy of love! And to our three founders- thank you for making our love possible!