|By Mark Kane on Tuesday, July 29, 2003 - 12:25 pm: Edit Post|
Yes, can we measure the work that volunteers do? Yes, sure. But what's the yardstick. There are intangibles--friendships, the presence in host countries of caring people, understanding of a different culture (this goes both ways). There are also tangibles. I taught English to air-traffic controllers in Casablanca, Morocco. I coached the national champion swimming team. I taught English to 60 Koranic teachers. I know volunteers who designed low-cost housing (which was built) and others who surveyed parts of the western Sahara.
If Senator Coleman has in mind measuring how much goodwill for the U.S. that volunteers create--I can't tell from his speech--we are faced with an old and unanswerable question.