In the city of McKinney, TX, resides South Carolina native Stan Cole Jr. and his wife, Virginia. Cole, who retired from American Airlines after 36 years of flying, is now devoting countless hours to supporting causes and candidates that he believes would provide long lasting, positive change both internationally and locally. One would say Cole is a man who truly exemplifies a servant’s heart. He stands firmly for what he believes, puts his all into helping others, and genuinely enjoys doing so—whether that is serving on foreign mission trips or helping to elect conservative candidates.
Like so many others, Cole followed civic issues from a distance. He followed what candidates promised during the campaign season and compared it to policy outcomes.
“I have grown very tired of seeing candidates who promise everything and deliver little. Be they Democrat or Republican, it seemed they were very similar—those in office would promise security by staying the course, while those running called for change,” says Cole. “Once in office, most all of them acted the same regardless of party—raising taxes, never cutting anything.”
He was deeply inspired to engage after hearing the Executive Pastor of his church, current State Rep. Scott Sanford (R – McKinney), announce a run for office. It motivated him to move past observation and to get engaged at a grassroots level.
“I became energized [when learning Sanford was running for office] because he is a man I have known for several years and admired … I saw his integrity, great wisdom, and humility as he served as Executive Pastor of our church.” Cole said. “His actions match his words and he is not afraid to say what he believes in.”
Cole and his wife have served on Sanford’s campaign in various ways—they led a prayer committee, contacted potential volunteers, hosted events at their home, and worked the polls talking directly to voters. “Scott never asked me or my wife to hand out flyers or to stand at the polls with signs,” Cole says, “He didn’t have to; we wanted to.”
But their political involvement didn’t stop there. While helping Sanford with his campaign, they were introduced to several other candidates that they believed in and chose to support as well. Cole works to help candidates whom are consistent and practice what they preach, as opposed to many entrenched incumbents in the political establishment that “change when it is politically advantageous to do so.”
When not working with local campaigns, spending time with family, playing golf, or flying, Cole is serving the international community. He and his wife are involved in their church’s foreign missions and have served with organizations such as Operation Care International, a worldwide ministry for the homeless, and support three children through Compassion International. He also spends several days a month teaching corporate pilots.
When asked why he chooses to invest so much time and energy into volunteering, Cole responded by stating, “My personal relationship with Jesus Christ is behind everything I do to help others. Before Him, I was almost exclusively a person focused on my own needs and desires. That seemed to be the best way to be happy. I had it backwards—the best way to be happy is to give.”