Perhaps no one understood the joy found in dedicating one’s life to service better than Martin Luther King, Jr. He is credited with more inspiring quotes than most other public servants combined. Here’s one of his best about service:

"Everyone can be great. Because everyone can serve."

Service will look different for different people; people in different professions; with different capabilities and skill sets.

Dental professionals have a unique opportunity to serve in underprivileged parts of the country and even other underserved parts of the world, providing routine preventive dental care and treatments to individuals who would not otherwise have access to dental care in any capacity.

The University of California San Diego Pre-Dental Society is looking for dentists, dental hygienists, dental assistants, medical and dental lab technicians, translators, educators, engineers and all other health-related professionals to take part in a U.S. Navy-led humanitarian mission to South America in the midst of the Venezuelan refugee crisis.

The Venezuelan Crisis Explained:

Tens of thousands of Venezuelans have fled their country amid chronic shortages of food and medicines, according to the BBC. The country's longstanding economic crisis has seen more than 2 million citizens leave since 2014, causing regional tensions as neighboring countries struggle to accommodate them.

A recommissioned U.S. Naval ship that is outfitted as a hospital ship, the USNS Comfort, is set to deploy Sept. 26 and return on Dec. 8. The ship will pass through the Panama Canal twice during that time.

"It is a great honor that the Navy has selected our civilian nongovernmental organization to help with this crisis," said Dr. Irvin B. Silverstein, UCSD Pre-Dental Society director. "We have a chance to make a difference and work with many partner nations to help alleviate suffering and save lives."

Dental professionals interested volunteering on this service trip should contact or to begin the volunteer credentialing process and receive updates about the upcoming mission.

To learn more about volunteering internationally or to find an international volunteer opportunity, visit the ADA Foundation's international volunteer website