In lieu of gifts, this eight-year-old just wanted to donate money to the mounted police.
Christian Hackett, of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, just turned eight, but instead of gifts for his birthday, "CJ," as he is called, asked for cash. The request didn't seem all that unusual, until his parents discovered that the money wasn't for him, but for the Bethlehem Police Department's Mounted Patrol.
The money, CJ said, was to help build the horses a nice, new home -- something of which his mother, Christie, is very proud.
"When I asked him, 'Are you sure that's what you want to do?' He pushed over half of the money over toward me and said, 'They need it more than I do,'" she said, in an interview with 69 News.
CJ's love for horses stems from an early childhood experience, when he was diagnosed with learning and behavioral conditions, and found equine therapy to be a great help.
"Horses are, number one, cute," he said. "And I used to ride therapy horses."
Last Tuesday, CJ presented the BPD Mounted Patrol Unit officers his jar of cash, which totaled $356.26.
"Our hearts were touched by hearing this story of...and that just goes to show our 4-legged partners are goodwill ambassadors. and that not only adults enjoy but also children," Officer Michael Leaser of the BPD Mounted Patrol Unit said.
The money in the jar won't be enough to build the entire new home, but CJ's parents are hopeful that the story of CJ's generosity will build some community momentum.
"We're hoping at least that if the story gets to a lot of people, that they're willing to donate at least a little bit of their birthday money...we're hoping for that," Christie said.
And in CJ's words: "It just feels right!"
WATCH NOW: Wide Open Pets Goes to the BEHS Horse Expo