“All it takes to change a life, sometimes, is a smile.”

Alaska Airlines’ Elvira Skurdal stood behind the ticket counter as if it was any ordinary day at the airport. But shortly after she inquired about her passengers’ plans, the employee found herself on a plane to Jamaica to serve rural communities through Great Shape! Inc.

“Circumstances were right for me to be there and I had an incredible opportunity to connect. It was unbelievable,” Skurdal said. “I looked at this whole situation and just thought, ‘whoa.’”

Skurdal’s primary mission is rooted in her belief in broadening the scope of life experiences, faith in her ability to make a difference and vision to educate today’s youth about the importance of service.

“There’s really no reason for everyone to care about Great Shape, but if they’re looking for a place to serve, to share their hearts, and to give what they have, that’s where Great Shape has enormous value,” said Skurdal.

For the past 21 years volunteers have chosen hope, and in doing so, made a significant impact on the global community.

“Great Shape offers hope for people that there’s a better way of life, people that care about them, and provides value for every individual who is involved,” said Skurdal. “The work that I’ve done has enabled me to express myself and extend my service to an area outside a local area. It has opened doors to utilize the skills that I have to make peace in the world.”