What happend to the President's Volunteer Service Award?
November 26, 2019 2:52 PM   Subscribe

I've earned PVSA pins the past several years and was working towards the Lifetime award, but this year it's all gone pear-shaped. Does anyone know what happened?

I know they made changes in March about how certifying organizations logged hours, which mean some organizations stopped doing it. They changed how volunteers could access their history. They also stopped the Lifetime program. But why?
posted by The corpse in the library to Law & Government (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Looks like changes are in the works in response to this incident, involving Stanley "Tookie" Williams, founder of the Crips and at the time of the award a death row inmate, receiving the award.

This web page has this note:
In a cooperative decision between the Points of Light and the Corporation for National and Community Service, the Lifetime Achievement Award is temporarily suspended as the program is evaluated. Updates will be provided in the coming weeks about the Lifetime Achievement Award’s availability but there is no further information to share at this time.
Personally unless I were literally at 3999 hours, I wouldn't sweat this too hard. Just keep tracking your hours and all the rest of the things you ordinarily need to do. Eventually they'll get a solution sorted out and moved forward. It could easily take a few years, though. (Politics at work . . . )
posted by flug at 3:22 PM on November 26, 2019

That happened in 2005, though. Has there been anything more recent that involves Williams?

The note from that web page is out of date, I'd guess from the spring; they stopped the Lifetime program some time before October of this year.

But I'm going to keep on tracking my hours, yup, and I found a new certifying organization (thank you, Camp Fire!).
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:02 PM on November 26, 2019

Aack, I thought that incident happened in 2015 instead of 2005. So I doubt it had anything specific to do with it.

But it looks like Corporation for National and Community Service has a new CEO as of 2018, so if that person decided to review programs etc etc that would be about the right timing.

CNCS has an office in every state, so if it were me I'd just call my own state office and ask them what's up.
posted by flug at 5:09 PM on November 26, 2019

I used to order these pins and letters signed by the president for AmeriCorps VISTA members (AC programs are run under CNCS). If I remember correctly, in 2017 after the change in adminstration, everything kind of came to a halt. I vaguely remember a note that said you couldn't get signed letters or certificates, but I think they ended up sending overstock Obama signed stuff which was perfectly fine for our members.

The PSVA site doesn't have an explanation either why the Lifetime Service Award is unavailable right now. I'd keep documenting your hours and maybe talk to the certifying organization you'd receive the award from to see if they know more.
posted by book 'em dano at 9:33 AM on November 27, 2019

Unexpectedly, I heard back from CNCS. They don't say why things changed -- which is what I'm really curious about -- but they do say they hope to bring back the Lifetime award in January.
posted by The corpse in the library at 4:00 PM on December 5, 2019 [1 favorite]

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