Cameron Simmons was a 13 year-old boy who had become so upset, he called 911 to tell the police of his intentions to run away from home. Fortunately for him, the officer who picked up, Gaetano Acerra, decided to intervene and ended up becoming a good friend for the boy.
He went personally to the boy’s home.
Acerra went straight to the boy’s home to talk to Cameron, who claimed that he wanted to run away from home because his mother yelled at him for playing his older brother’s video game.
Something told officer that Cameron was not being perfectly honest about the situation, so asked if he could look inside the boy’s room.
What he saw there shocked him.
Looking into the boy’s room, he noticed that there was no furniture in sight.
Cameron’s clothes were kept in a garbage bag, and he did not even have a bed to sleep in. While Cameron did have an inflatable mattress, he said it would deflate during the night.
The family had recently relocated from Texas to South Carolina in order to help take care of a sick family member, but they were struggling to survive. Wanting to help, Acerra came up with ideas to surprise the entire family.
The officer and his brother started a plan that took weeks…but paid off.
Acerra searched and collected any furniture he could to help give to the family, especially hoping to give Cameron his own room. He was aided in this endeavor by his own brother, Ferdinando. They desks, chair, and even a bed, and even things for Cameron and his brother to play with, like video games and an air hockey table.
Others were inspired to help by Acerra’s actions!
It took weeks to put everything together, but then it took off. Acerra really led by example.
Reportedly, after this story hit social media and started to trend, other people who were touched by his actions started sending money to help the Simmons family as well.
“I posted it on Facebook, and next thing I know, it went viral,” Ferdinando told KHON2.
“It’s always the best feeling, knowing that you can help somebody out that needs the help,” said Ferdinando.
“I didn’t think it was going to get this big,” Acerra told KHON2. “I’m shocked.”
Accera said he never expected the attention, because this was a natural thing for him to do. “I try to help kids out all the time.”
Nonetheless, he is thankful for the outpouring of support for the Simmons family.
“You really changed his life,” he said. “Gave him some hope.”