Teens for Jean

It's exciting to see young people become involved with good causes, reaching beyond themselves to help others. Some students in Jackson are doing just that with their involvement in the Teens for Jeans drive, a national initiative run by retailer Aéropostale.

During the last couple of weeks, students involved with THRIVE -- a Jackson student group with an acronym that stands for Teach, Hope, Reach, Involve, Value and Encourage -- have collected gently used jeans that will be distributed to homeless shelters.

Laura Baugh, student service specialist at Jackson Junior High and THRIVE sponsor, told the Southeast Missourian in January that the organization collected almost 3,200 pairs of jeans last year and the group hoped to double that number this year.

While the students are reaching out to their classmates for support, others in the community also are welcome to participate. Gently used jeans will be collected through Wednesday via donation boxes outside all Jackson elementary schools, junior high and high school.

We applaud the students and advisers for their efforts with this drive. The young people, through their actions, are learning compassion, generosity and other important lessons -- character traits that will serve them well beyond the classroom.