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Reported By Liku Zelleke
Sumter, S.C.: Christmas might still be a long time off, but 13-year-old Cameron Simmons must have done something right because his presents arrived early this year.
A few weeks ago Simmons called the Sumter police because he was upset after getting into a fight with his mother. When Officer Gaetano Acerra met him after responding to the call, the teenager told him that he did not want to live in the house with his family anymore.
Officer Acerra said that he gave him some fatherly advice. “I said, ‘You have it good, you have a roof over your head.’ I told him I would try to help him out, and here we are now.”
But it was only after the officer brought him home that he realized that maybe having the roof wasn’t enough. Once inside he saw that the boy didn’t even have a real bed or anything, for that matter, that should normally be found in a bedroom.
“My heart went out for him. I thought the little things that he needed I could give him, to make him a happier kid,” the officer said.
He did act on his vow. A few weeks later, he was back at Simmons’ house with a truck laden with gifts. According to Officer Acerra, he had managed to bring the boy “a bed, TV, desk, chair and a Wii game system that somebody donated to me because of the story I told them.”
He also has plans to add more furniture like a dresser and mirror.
Before his new bed, Simmons had been sleeping on an inflatable mattress that would slowly deflate throughout the night. Now, the boy said, thanks to his new bed his back wouldn’t hurt anymore.
Officer Acerra said, “I didn’t do this for publicity or to get people to notice me. I did it because I could. It was the right thing to do and I think people should do things like this.”
He also said that apart from the pats-on- the-back, he has gained a precious thing: a friend. He has given Simmons his cell phone number and told him to call him any time.