Marlene Lenthang
October 27, 2016 01:57 PM

8-year-old CJ Hackett has a heart of gold. The young boy has donated all his birthday money to the local police department mounted patrol out of his love for horses.

“Horses, one, are cute and I used to ride therapy horses,” Hackett tells PEOPLE.

For Hackett, horses have been an important and therapeutic part of his life, helping with his learning and behavioral issues. He proudly presented his birthday money jar of $356.26, which he hopes will provide new stables for the horses at Bethlehem Pennsylvania mounted patrol.

His mom was overcome with pride over her son’s generosity.

“I asked him, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want to do?’ ” Christie Hackett tells PEOPLE. “He pushed over half the money and said, ‘They need it more than I do.’ ”

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