Zach, I hope that this year's recipients of your oh-so-coveted Yahoo Day paraphernalia go out and do their noble duty. I've had a particularly fruitful and amazing year since my last Yahoo, so the things I go out into the world to do this years will be especially celebratory.
My love to you, Zach. You amaze and humble me. Not just once a year, but at least every 6-8 weeks or so.
Posted February 2012:
I have a very important and very wonderful task ahead, and I need some creative input. On Sunday, February 26, I must Yahoo to the best of my abilities, and I want it to be good.
See, I have a friend named Zach Galvin. We have been friends for a very long time - thirty years, to be exact. Fifteen years ago on Sunday, he endured his last treatment for stage IV Hodgkin's Disease (A.K.A. very bad, advanced cancer).
Zach found out about his cancer at the same time he landed his first teaching job. He had a tumor the size of a kitten, snuggled up so close to his heart that they couldn't operate to remove it. He endured radiation and aggressive chemotherapy that year while he was establishing his home at Natick High School. I thought my first year as a teacher was stressful, and all I had to worry about was curriculum planning and test writing.
In 1996, Zach looked like this:
These days, he is the Vice Principal of Natick High School in Natick, MA, and looks like this:
He's wearing that shirt and that number on his chest because in the ten years he's been doing the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk, he has raised over a quarter of a million dollars for cancer research.
But back to the subject of Yahoo Day. Every year on February 26, Zach and his band of friends all over the world, go out and commit a random act of kindness for someone, preferably someone we don't know. Over the years I have done all sorts of things in the name of Yahoo, but I want to make this year special.
Today, I received a package from Zach in the mail. He will be in Europe, chaperoning a school trip on this Yahoo Day, so he decided to make a t-shirt that he could wear in the spirit of Yahoo Day. One t-shirt became 15, one for each year he's been cancer-free. He chose 14 friends who have been active in the spirit of the Yahoo over the years, and we each received a shirt. It looks like this on the front:
...and like this on the back:
On his fifth Yahoo Day, Zach did this:
So whatever I do this Sunday, it's got to be good. I've done some pretty cool random and anonymous acts of kindness in years past, but I like to up the ante each year.
Any ideas? And why don't you join us? On February 26th, go on out and Yahoo. Do it for my buddy, Zach.