By Mitzi Loera
"They're here to stop the criminals," said Noel student Mason Sanchez.
For Mason Sanchez a police officer's job can be summed up in just a few words, and he is well aware of last Saturday's tragedy.
"For the police officers who died they got shot," said Sanchez.
And when asked about the ordeal he says he's sad and knows what the families of the officer are feeling.
"They're probably sad too," said Sanchez.
It's a sadness that Mason's teachers and fellow students also feel prompting them to show support for the officer's families in a very simple way.
"The second grade teachers got together, and decided we would do a hat day," said Brandy Dugger, a teacher at Noel Elementary.
A day for students of Noel magnet to show their personal style by donning a hat, but to do so they would have to pay 50 cents.
"We sent notes home yesterday, and we had a great turn out this morning all the students brought their hats," said Dugger.
And what makes this donation more meaningful is the students who came together to raise the money go to school only feet from where the tragedy happened.
"Its tragic and it makes it worse knowing that it was right here in our home," said Dugger
And it was knowing the situation could have been much worse if the shootings had taken place while the kids were on campus. These students and teachers put fear aside and handed over a check to officers from the Odessa Police Department.
"What they did in just a day's time is just very, very flattering and speaking on behalf of the families they would be too because you never really expect children to get involved in something of this magnitude," Said Cpl. Robin Smith.
And it was these very small donors who made these big men shed tears.
"It all sums down to one word and that word is love the kids were able to express their concern and their need to do something to help and all falls down to love. There is a lot of love in this community right now these children and you heard me say to these kids that they're our future," said Smith.
Today was a lesson the students at Noel will take with them into the future, they will continue to raise funds and donate them in the honor of Officers Gardner, Jones and Marquez.