Cameron Simmons' reason for wanting to run away from his South Carolina home seemed trivial - his mom was yelling at him, but when Acerra went back to the boy's home, he was shocked at what he saw. Cameron's bedroom was totally empty, save for a black garbage bag full of clothes. Just four walls, two windows and hardwood floor, according to Acerra.
When Acerra asked Cameron where he slept, he said, 'Sometime on the couch and sometimes on a blow-up mattress.'"
That response resonated with Officer Acerra and over the next few weeks he began gathering items for Cameron and his family.
Earlier this month, Acerra and his own brother, Ferdinando Acerra, dropped off a new bed, TV, desk, chair, and even a barely-used Wii game system.
"The kid was in tears," Acerra said. "He was just in shock, so happy. He still is."
Ferdinando Acerra posted a photo of his brother and Cameron sharing a hug and the image has gone viral, with more than 50,000 likes. Now, people all over the world are contacting Officer Acerra to see how they can help the family.
Acerra hopes he can contnue to help other families that have fallen on hard times.
"I didn't expect this, and I'm not one to gloat or brag or even ask for help, but with all these people standing behind us, we can change a lot of lives," he said.