PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The youngest generation is supporting and encouraging local firefighters.

Students at Peoria Christian Elementary School presented decorated goody bags with thank you notes to 171 Peoria firefighters on Wednesday.

“It’s heartwarming. It’s amazing to know that generations that you’re serving are thinking about you, even when they don’t necessarily need you,” said Peoria Fire Captain Matthew Smith.

The students raised more than $1,000 through a loose change drive to pay for the goody bags.

Smith said the gesture is very thoughtful.

“It’s an honor to do what we get to do, but to know that children are thinking about you and they are concerned about you,” he said. “They want pray for you, they want to get to know you, spend time with you, come visit you and we want to be part of that community.”