A Marine veteran in Sarasota is surprised when “elves” from the utility company come and decorate his home for the holidays. Earlier this week, more than a dozen volunteers from Florida Power and Light Company (FPL) descended on the Sarasota home of Marine veteran Carlos Moreira. As part of the company’s program “Hero Holiday Lighting,” they honored the vet by adorning his home with thousands of LED Christmas lights and other energy-efficient decor.
This is the fifteenth year in a row the FPL has given back to local heroes and few are as well deserving as Moreira. He spent more than 15-years on active duty with the Marines and was a reservist for three years before becoming the veteran services administrator for University of South Florida in 2018.
Moreira's wife, Rayne, helped get the plan going, along with the nonprofit Wishes for Heroes. They partnered with FPL to surprise Moreira and their two children with the holiday decorations. He was appreciative of the decorations and said he couldn’t stop smiling. “At the end of the day you know it’s about helping people,” Moreira says, “And the more you help people, the more you help your community.”