photo of volunteer david gjersik playing with kids on the variety star playground

Meet Volunteer David Gjersvik

Meet David Gjersvik, one of Children’s Cancer Connection’s fantastic volunteers!

David is an elementary school counselor in Cedar Falls. Through his involvement in University of Iowa Dance Marathon in college, he heard about the tremendous impact of Camp Heart Connection®. So he started volunteering with CCC in 2015; that first year he was a camp counselor for the 9-12 year-old group a both Oncology and Sibling Camps. David continues to volunteer year-round at summer, Family, Teen and Day Camps, as well as other events and programs. This June marked his 15th week as a staff member at Camp Heart Connection, throughout which he’s been a 9-12 counselor, LIT Counselor, Programs/Support Staff, and most recently the camp Mental Health Specialist.

“Every volunteer experience I’ve had with CCC has been incredibly rewarding. It has been a joy building lasting relationships with the families and other volunteers over the years,” David said. “Camp has become like a second family, and I’ve been so lucky to be a part of it. It has been really neat seeing the campers that I had when they were younger grow up and become amazing young men and women, many of whom are now volunteering as Camp Heart Connection staff! I find myself in a constant state of wonder and awe when I am at camp, seeing campers become more confident, brave their fears and foster deep connections with one another. Seeing the kids support one another and encourage one another is an amazing thing to witness.”

This year, CCC staff created the role of volunteer Mental Health Specialist at Camp Heart Connection, and David stepped in to fill that. He provides support to both campers and staff members when mental health or behavioral concerns came up. He also consults with the Camp Director and Assistant Camp Director on issues related to the mental, emotional and social development of campers and staff. David leads an informational session about grief/bereavement during the staff training at Oncology Camp as well.

“It is so encouraging knowing that CCC cares about the mental and social wellbeing of both campers and the volunteers, and I think that adding this position has been very helpful,” he said. 

Outside of work and his CCC volunteer adventures, David enjoys spending time with friends and family, bicycling, playing pickleball, winning trivia competitions, reading and spending time in nature. 

Thanks SO MUCH to David for his incredible commitment to Children’s Cancer Connection!

Want to join David in making a difference? Browse volunteer opportunities today!

Post expires at 10:48am on Wednesday November 8th, 2023