updated 05/09/2014 AT 12:50 PM ET
•originally published 05/09/2014 AT 11:45 AM ET
A Sumter, South Carolina, teen is finally getting a good night’s sleep thanks to the actions of a local police officer.
A few weeks ago, Officer Gaetano Acerra received a call from a distraught 13-year-old, reports WSMV. Cameron Simmons phoned the police department after getting into an argument with his mother and told Acerra he no longer wanted to live with his family.
After the call, the officer visited Simmons at home to check in and found the teen was living in a bare room with no real bed. Instead, Simmons slept on an air mattress, which he said often deflated during the night.
“My heart went out for him,” Acerra told WSMV. “I thought the little things that he needed I could give him, to make him a happier kid.”
And give he did. Several weeks after the call, the officer returned to Simmons’ home in a car loaded with gifts for the 13-year-old. Acerra’s presents included a bed, TV, desk and Nintendo Wii game system.
Simmons was grateful for all the surprises, especially the new bed, which he says will help with his back pain. Now that Simmons has some of the essentials, Acerra is planning to come back with a mirror, dresser and other bedroom furniture in the near future.
“I didn’t do this for publicity or to get people to notice me,” Acerra said. “I did it because I could. It was the right thing to do and I think people should do things like this.”
The officer says the best part about the experience was gaining Simmons as friend. The pair recently exchanged personal phone numbers, so Simmons can call to talk to Acerra about anything at any time.
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