Updated: Aug 8
It is with pride and joy I present to you the 27th member of Team Do Good, the mighty Justin Cole. I am absolutely thrilled to have the opportunity to celebrate Justin here via Tampa Bless and Team Do Good. His willingness to participate in this feature is highly appreciated. And now, without further ado...
Name: Justin Cole
Place of birth: Plymouth, Michigan
Currently reside: South Tampa
Heritage: German, Irish, English, Polish
Alma Mater: Bachelor's Degree in Finance from the University of South Carolina.
Occupation: Owner of Engage Team Gear - a Custom Apparel and Promotional products company in Tampa. Website: engageteamgear.com
Activities you organized or participated in related to helping others and uplifting humanity?
I am a member of the Society of St. Joseph at Christ the King and have enjoyed the Catholic comradery amongst the other guys in my group. I have been coaching competitive soccer for 11 years and currently coach at Berkeley Prep with the boys varsity.
I have also been a Rotarian for about 4 years and am currently the Treasurer of the Tampa Midtown Rotary club. Rotary has provided many opportunities for me to work and volunteer locally.
Since April I have been periodically working with THORN Ministries to help feed and clothe the homeless on Sundays. I also recently was asked to be one of the leaders of the Young Adult Ministry at Christ the King as well which I’m excited to begin working on.
The Tampa Bless 12
1) Favorite pastime or hobby? Why? Please explain.
Shooting some hoops with music is always a great way to relax. I also enjoy hiking, swimming laps, playing soccer, or going for a bike ride. Pretty much anything active.
2) Favorite sport, team, or player? If not into sports, your favorite musician or album? Or answer one of each if you’d like or any combo. Please explain why for any one or more of the questions you answered.
Soccer. I played growing up and love the freedom of the sport. I have been involved in the sport in every way possible. I started playing soccer around 7, I became a referee at 11 and began coaching at 18. Soccer has been an incredible outlet for me and supported me throughout my life. The lessons I have learned playing, officiating, and coaching have transferred over into many different areas of my life.
3) Favorite movie? Why? Please explain.
Gladiator. It is a timeless classic and Russel Crowe and Joaquin Phoenix are incredible in this movie.
4) Favorite place (country, city, town, etc…) you have visited and why?
Kauai, Hawaii. I really enjoyed being thousands of miles from “the real world.” It is very difficult for me to disconnect from work, so being on an island surrounded by water forced me to be completely in the moment. I was able to hike all over the island and see mountains, canyons, waterfalls, and views I will never forget. Although some of the hikes were very dangerous but fun, it felt like a playground built by nature.
5) Last meal? You could have anything, what is it? Why? Please explain.
Salmon, shrimp, or steak from one of my favorite spots in Charleston, SC. I have never eaten better than I have in Charleston. I’d also have some southern-style mac and cheese and collard greens with an Old Fashioned. I more recently became gluten intolerant so having normal mac and cheese sounds incredible.
6) Three activities or routines you would highly recommend? Please explain your reasoning for each.
1. Morning Prayer. Getting off to a good start to my day is extremely important. Sometimes I just start a workout or normal work without prayer and it typically isn’t as enjoyable of a day. Knowing you’ve asked God for what you need for the day before getting started has helped me immensely.
2. Consistent Exercise. We were made to be active and without activity we can fall in all sorts of slumps. I truly feel the best mentally and physically when I have a consistent routine I’ve been sticking to.
3. Just having a routine and sticking to it. If I don’t stick to a routine or let a different area of my life overpower the boundaries I’ve set it can cause issues. Having set bed, prayer, exercise, and work times, and defending the time cut out for them is huge.
7) A) Personality trait you highly value? Why? Please explain. B) The personality trait you highly dislike? Why? Please explain.
A. Selflessness/Charitable. It can be rare to see people outside themselves serving others. I think in seeing people give their time, energy, and resources to others, you can really get a clear view of the gifts of the Holy Spirit in action.
B. Pride/Ignorance. These personality traits add no value to our lives or the lives of others and if left unchecked can lead to any variety of undesired traits.
8) Favorite thinker (author, philosopher, theologian, etc…)? Why? Please explain. And what is your favorite piece of advice, quote, or text from them or in general? Why? Please explain.
I have a few: Fr. Mike Schmitz, Matt Fradd, and Jordan Peterson. "A Psalm of Life" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.
Tell me not, in mournful numbers, Life is but an empty dream! For the soul is dead that slumbers, And things are not what they seem. Life is real! Life is earnest! And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art, to dust returnest, Was not spoken of the soul. Not enjoyment, and not sorrow, Is our destined end or way; But to act, that each to-morrow Find us farther than to-day. Art is long, and Time is fleeting, And our hearts, though stout and brave, Still, like muffled drums, are beating, Funeral marches to the grave. In the world’s broad field of battle, In the bivouac of Life, Be not like dumb, driven cattle! Be a hero in the strife! Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant! Let the dead Past bury its dead! Act,— act in the living Present! Heart within, and God o’erhead!
9) Biggest influence in your life or a top one, and what was it about them that really stood out?
My Grandpa. He grew up in a small town in Kentucky and came from nothing. His dad passed away when he was very young and had to help support his family. Through hard work and just being able to learn concepts quickly became successful in whatever he did (e.g., military, corporate, etc.). This is an especially big achievement, in my opinion, without the internet or YouTube. He started his own real estate company in Michigan with no experience and was very successful. It’s a story that gives me hope for my own goals.
10) If there is one thing you could change in the world, what would it be?
Better education and easier access to it for young kids. I love how it is one of the missions of the Catholic Church to create schools in the US and worldwide. One of my favorite quotes is, "Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better" by Maya Angelou.
11) Where did your desire to help others and uplift humanity come from? Please explain.
The time spent helping others is one of the few investments of my time that I know I am doing what God has called me to do. In Matthew 25:35-40, Jesus says all the works we do for the least of us we do for Him. "Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me." 12) What are you working on now and how can people get involved?
Society of St. Joseph at Christ the King - thesocietyofstjoseph.com
THORN Ministries - thornministries.net - Donating any used clothes, blankets, towels, etc. is always greatly appreciated. My email is email@example.com Christ the King Young Adult Ministry - Come join us for an event! FB/Instagram @CTKYATAMPA Tampa Midtown Rotary - FB @tampamidtownrotary. We have events benefiting several service organizations in the area. It is also a great club to join and be a part of.
Thank you so much for your time Justin and for all that you do. The place we live in is that much better because of you. I hope that this feature has served to inspire you, as well as successfully celebrate those that help others and uplift humanity.
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