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Local detective raises $11,000 for at-risk kids’ Christmas

Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 12:54 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A local sheriff’s detective says he was blown away by the generosity of others when he set a goal to raise $2,000 to buy presents for teens at the Waco Center for Youth and ended up raising more than $11,000 in just days. The Waco Center for Youth is a psychiatric residential treatment center for at-risk adolescents.

Joseph Scaramucci, a human trafficking detective with the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, got the idea after participating in the group’s parade on Saturday.

He took to social media with a goal of raising $2,000 to buy presents for the kids but had no idea of the overwhelming response he’d get.

“That post blew up,” Scaramucci said.

“We had $2,000 in the first hour.”

And the money kept pouring in.

Scaramucci is well-known for his work in the fight to combat human trafficking across the United States, so much so, he was just recently featured on the Dr. Phil show.

His job takes him around the country where he’s met many different people and organizations and he says many of those contacts answered his call for help in Central Texas.

“We had donations coming in from organizations in Atlanta,” Scaramucci said.

“We had law enforcement that was donating from Alabama, Chicago, Indiana as well.”

Scaramucci said Central Texans also gave as much as they could.

Even his boss, Sherriff Parnell McNamara, donated $500.

“God’s favor and love were surely a part of this,” Scaramucci wrote when thanking those on his Facebook page who helped out.

For those that have followed, and all that donated, yesterday I shared about the parade at Waco Center for Youth, and...

Posted by Joseph Scaramucci on Monday, December 13, 2021

Scaramucci delivered the cash and gifts donated Tuesday to the Waco Center for Youth.

Scaramucci says he hopes to do the fundraiser next year with a little more planning.

“Just getting the involvement from the community and just the fact we have such a loving community that’s willing to step up to the plate really sets a precedent,” he said.

“So I’m hoping we can do this again.”

He says he was blown away by the generosity of others.

“This donation to the Volunteer Services Council will help make the holidays even more special for the children we serve at the Waco Center for Youth,” Kelli Weldon with Texas Health and Human Services said.

“We appreciate the generosity of Detective Scaramucci, the McLennan County Sheriff’s office, and the community.”

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