It’s April, and that means spring is here.  That also means the weather is getting warmer, the snow is finally going away, and the world is coming out of winter hibernation.  It’s a great time to spring clean our houses, closets, and bodies (have you noticed how popular the gym is again suddenly?).  Makeover specials are popping up all over reality shows and magazine covers, encouraging us to go out and remake ourselves into a fresh person for the new season.

But what about remaking ourselves on the inside?  Spring should also be a time to clean out our hearts of grime and gunk and fill them with the warmth of the season.  They say beauty comes from the inside, and the most beautiful people are the ones who are filled with goodness.

Looking for an easy way to start?  Try doing something kind for someone else, once a day.  It doesn’t have to be a major life change – even little things like letting someone merge in front of you in rush hour traffic, holding the door the person behind you, smiling at your usual Starbucks barista, or saying hi to a coworker who looks like they could use a distraction. 

Still stuck?  Try donating.  Four of my friends are involved with three very important fundraising drives.  With a few clicks of the mouse, you can help them, as well as the causes they are supporting.  Check out their efforts below:

1. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society – Team in Training
My friends Dan and Katie have BOTH been training for months to run a full marathon in Alaska (!) this summer.  Talk about sacrifice to help out others.
See Dan’s full story and donate here.
See Katie’s full story and donate
Or take your support one step further and head out to the Greyhound Pub in Worcester on May 16th.  For a small cover charge, you can check out a cool band, participate in drawings for great prizes (including Red Sox tickets), and hang out with some awesome people.  Both the cover charge and drawing cash goes to their cause.  Details can be found here.

2. Project Bread/Walk for Hunger
On May 4th, my friend Abby will be covering quite some ground across Boston on foot when she participates in the Walk for Hunger.  This is a great cause that she is a long-time supporter of.  Help Abby out with her walk by donating here.

3. National Multiple Sclerosis Society – MS Bike Tour
From Damien Gaudet:
“I will be riding 150 miles on a bicycle over two days in June of this year, from Quincy to Provincetown, to support the MS Society, but even more important to me is supporting my mother. She was diagnosed with MS over ten years ago and has gone through some very tough times, but always manages to come out the other side staying positive and looking ahead.”
Help out Damien and his cause by clicking here.

So the next time you hit up the mall for a cute new pair of wedge sandals or a new pair of khaki shorts, make sure to put some cash aside first for a great foundation like one of the few mentioned above.  Your adorable new top may last you until the fall season, but a dollar towards a cause can last a lot longer.