Keeping Informed

Keeping Informed

Dear AFS-USA Volunteers,

First, on behalf of all of us at AFS-USA, thank you for all that you are doing to remain available to participants, host parents, educators, and others and share information that you have, while doing all that you can to create a sense of calm and confidence in AFS within your community.

We can all agree, this situation literally changes minute-by-minute. The decisions and information that we share with you is shared in the most timely way possible and can stem from a number of different sources—decisions that AFS-USA can and does make, decisions that come from AFS International or a particular AFS Partner, and decisions that come from external sources, especially government offices, that we must follow. In every case we quickly provide you with the best possible information we have at the time.

Throughout this widespread and ever-changing pandemic, all kinds of questions will come up within your community and many you will not be able to answer at the time. In most cases, it will be because the decisions have not been made or the information is not available to us, and not because you have not received the information. We know this can be extremely frustrating for all of you who interact with our participants and host parents, and we share that frustration ourselves.

Here are ways for you to keep yourself informed with the best information we have at the time:

  • Please make sure you receive and read all Volunteer communications we are sending out from AFS-USA.  We do track open rates and are noticing that not all volunteers are reading our communications.
  • Please visit MyAFS as this is where we post information that we have and that you need to know.
  • AFS-USA posts an update on COVID-19 on the front page of our website at the bottom. We change this message when needed.
  • As soon as we have any information whatsoever about the suspension of or change in a program, we send all volunteers a communication. You know what we know.
  • Our crisis communications team that involves staff from all areas of our organization is in place and meeting, and we have people who are solely dedicated to providing communications to our constituents and to volunteers. All volunteers are made aware, in writing, of any information of importance that is sent to participants and families.

Our Regional Directors will be reaching out to our Area Team Chairs as a reminder for them to continue to check MyAFS and their email for updates and to make sure to bring updates to the attention of all their volunteers in the team.

We are so fortunate to have you supporting our participants and parents. AFS Volunteers are among the very best volunteers in the world. Through my 34 years working for AFS, I know this to be true because I experience it nearly every day.

We will continue to share all the news we have at the time with you directly through the channels above. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me at

With warmest regards,

Tara M. Hofmann
President & CEO