AmeriCorps VISTA Monthly Updates


AmeriCorps VISTA
August 17, 2023

AmeriCorps VISTA Monthly Updates

Quarterly Sponsor Call

AmeriCorps shared an update on Tuesday, July 18 regarding the impacts of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which was signed by President Biden to avert an unprecedented default on the federal government’s debt. A total of $70 million will be rescinded from the agency, which would have supported approximately 5,000 AmeriCorps members through the fiscal year 2024 grant and award making process. 

This includes $37 million rescinded from AmeriCorps VISTA, intended to support living allowances in FY 2024 (October 1, 2023 – September 30, 2024). Due to this cut, AmeriCorps VISTA will not host a summer associate program in FY 2024 and anticipates funding 500 fewer full-year member service years in FY 2024 than in FY 2023. 

Please join us for the next sponsor call on Wednesday, Aug. 30, at 3 p.m. ET, where we will share an overview of the AmeriCorps VISTA budget, the annual appropriations process, and next steps.  

The webinar ID and passcode:  
Webinar ID: 161 025 4452  
Passcode: 614205  

Updated Member and Sponsor Handbooks 

The AmeriCorps VISTA sponsor and member handbook have been updated. These updates reflect the agency’s current strategic plan and branding guidelines, new member wellness resources, teleservice and virtual service site policy changes, new sick leave benefits for summer associates, and information about national service gear. Additionally, these materials are now available in English and Spanish to improve accessibility. The member handbook and the sponsor handbook are available on the AmeriCorps VISTA website.                                                                                                            

End of COVID-19 Exceptions

The following message regarding the end of COVID-19 exceptions was sent to currently serving members and leaders on Wednesday, Aug. 2. 

Dear AmeriCorps members,   

We hope you are enjoying your summer. This message is to ensure you are aware of the recent expiration of the COVID-19 public health emergency flexibilities to AmeriCorps VISTA policies.  

The CARES Act, signed into law on Friday, March 27, 2020, provided a variety of flexibilities for AmeriCorps programs for the COVID-19 public health emergency. The declaration of the national emergency ended on Thursday, May 11, 2023.   

As the public health emergency has ended, so have the following flexibilities.  

  • An AmeriCorps member who exits service early for COVID-19 related reasons is no longer eligible to receive a full education award.   
  • Individuals may receive a compelling medical exit for a pro-rated end-of-service award.   
  • AmeriCorps members serving in VISTA can no longer serve remotely.   
  • AmeriCorps VISTA has updated the Teleservice Policy.   
  • Evacuated Peace Corps volunteers and members who terminated early from a previous AmeriCorps term are no longer eligible to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA leader.   
  • AmeriCorps members serving in VISTA can no longer change their end-of-service award after their 10th month of service.   
  • AmeriCorps members serving in VISTA who exit their service term early due to COVID-19 are no longer eligible for non-competitive eligibility status.

We recognize that members are still vulnerable to sickness during their term of service. Please refer to the AmeriCorps VISTA member handbook for program policy regarding sick leave and reach out to your supervisor or the AmeriCorps VISTA member support unit for support and guidance if you become sick while in service and need assistance.    

For any questions or further clarification regarding the expiration of the COVID-19 policy flexibilities, please contact the AmeriCorps VISTA member support unit at  

Thank you for your service.   


Brendan Murphy, Director  
AmeriCorps VISTA Member Support Unit 

Member Service Gear 

As a reminder, all new AmeriCorps members serving in the VISTA program should receive an invitation to order their AmeriCorps gear no later than two weeks after each member orientation. Members need to access their account within 30 days and are eligible to receive a polo shirt, t-shirt, water bottle, journal, and lapel pin.   

If members cannot find their invitations or need more assistance with ordering their gear, contact  

Order Your Recruitment Kit


Recruitment promotional items are now available to support your recruitment and outreach efforts. To place an order: 

  1. Create an account on the AmeriCorps promotional items website
  2. Use Item Name or SKU Number to easily search for each item:
  3. After filling your basket, click “Check Out.”
  4. Enter your shipping address. No PO Boxes will be accepted.
  5. Click “Continue to Review.”
  6. In the Order Justification box, please include the following: Name of your organization + SPONKITFY2.