At every turn, volunteerism defines Pedro Caro’s life. He took his biggest step into being a volunteer when he enlisted in the U.S. Navy – but, he’s delved deeper since then. And, he hasn’t looked back.
Today, he’s a culinary specialist 1st class in the U.S. Navy. When he’s not concentrated on actively serving the country or his fellow sailors, he turns his attention to others in need.
The biggest bulk of his time, since being assigned to the U.S.S. Constitution in Massachusetts, has been spent with the New England Center and Home for Veterans (NECHV), one of the nation’s largest private resource providers for homeless veterans.
“Caro has set himself apart from his peers in a very short amount of time. He commits his time to serving others and seeks no recognition” said Jonathan Chaison, the NECHV volunteer program coordinator. “It is simply what he does. No one I have ever encountered in my naval career is more deserving of such an award.”
In his first seven months on the U.S.S. Constitution, Caro completed 268 hours of community service with NECHV. As a volunteer, he’s helped veterans with employment services, securing internships, and finding temporary and permanent housing. According to Chaison, Caro has positively impacted the lives of more than 90 sailors who come to NECHV for help. He’s also encouraged an additional 56 active military service members to donate 435 hours to community service.
Although Caro has devoted hundreds of hours to helping homeless veterans first-hand, he also devotes his time in other ways. Recently, he volunteered with Run to Home Base, a race that supports Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital organization dedicated to healing the invisible wounds of war for soldiers who have served post 9/11.
And, even though the bulk of his volunteer efforts focus on giving back to those who also serve – either actively or retired – Caro spends a significant amount of time to community organizations, too. Since arriving in Massachusetts, he’s worked with Pets in Need, Live Life Family Day, Revere Beach Clean Up, Salem Maritime Festival, Petpalooza, Charlestown Brown Bag, Harvest Happening, and Toys for Tots.
Ultimately, by giving so freely of his time and energies, he’s fully living a life of service that helps others.
“Caro is a catalyst for volunteerism and an example for his peers to adhere to,” Chaison said.