The first things you notice are the smiles.

Here are young people, doing something productive, and they seem like they are thoroughly enjoying themselves while doing it.

Turn to Page 3 of today's TIMES NEWS and you will find a photograph and story about members of Lehighton Area High School's National Honor Society who recently completed a clothing drive for needy families in the area.

The drive was a huge success. Because of their efforts, a lot of children and adults won't go cold this winter. They will have suitable clothing to wear, thanks to the efforts of these young people.

The story contains statements from the honor society members expressing how rewarding the experience was, and how everyone can use a helping hand, and how they wanted to help the community.

While the efforts of the honor students is being recognized, their contributions to society aren't that unique. You cand fine, almost every day, some indication of young people doing good works in their community, whether it's a clothing drive, collecting food for a pantry, or the Panther Valley JROTC unit performing services at the funeral of a veteran.

It's heartwarming to see these students take the initiative to perform such works. It also speaks immensely about what kind of contributions these young people are going to make in society when they become part of the work force as adults.

The clothing drive is only one part of their reaching out to the community. The group also runs an annual food drive for Tinity Pantry, gathering food for hungry fafmilies during the holidays. They also collect animal food and pet supplies. They also participate in larger projects and fundraisers as part of the student council.

We hear and read entirely too many negative things about young people today. But, in many cases, the good far outweighs the bad. The efforts of the Lehighton National Honor Society students places special emphasis on the many good works and deeds performed by young people.

Most of the beneficiaries of their good works will never know who was responsible to obtaining the warm clothing for them to wear this winter. But the students know what they did. And they can take great comfort and pride in their accomplishments.

Bob Urban

rurban@tnonline.com