Transforming Lives through Social Mission with Andrea Putting

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Transforming Lives through Social Mission with Andrea Putting

In today's episode, we're joined by Andrea Putting, a passionate advocate for social missions and community involvement. Together, we explore the transformative power of engaging in social causes and how it can bring joy and fulfillment not just to others, but to ourselves as well.

Andrea Putting, a social mission advocate, author, and speaker, focuses on empowering individuals and organizations to find joy and fulfillment in community involvement. Her initiatives promote cultural diversity, religious harmony, and personal purpose.

Transforming Lives through Social Mission with Andrea Putting

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"Touching one person's life can change the world."

"When we align our actions with our hearts, volunteering becomes a source of joy, not just duty."


Transforming Lives through Social Mission with Andrea Putting

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Full Show Transcript:

Matt Feret: [00:00:00] Hello, everyone. This is Matt Feret, author of Prepare for Medicare and Prepare for Social Security Insiders guidebooks and online course training series. Welcome to another episode of the Matt Feret Show, where I interview insiders and experts. To help light a path to successful living in midlife retirement and beyond.

Matt Feret: Andrea, welcome 

Andrea Putting: thanks Matt Thanks for having me on. 

Andrea Putting: Okay, so I Have many things that I I do my focus in life is around compassionate purpose and I'm very keen on having, helping people to find that thing in their life that brings them joy and fulfillment.

Andrea Putting: And what I found is that that is doing things such as volunteering and being involved in social mission. So doing something that's good for the world is actually good for yourself. So I've been doing this, I've been on this Um, on this journey for, for some time, I started it with my [00:01:00] own social mission, which just kind of happened in my life at a time when I was searching other things.

Andrea Putting: I was searching how you make business better. And I got sidetracked by developing a social mission. And so my social mission was, became chocolate and coffee day for religious harmony. And that happened in my life at a time. When, what had happened was that I live in Australia and I live in Melbourne, but in Sydney there was this event where a gunman went into the Lindt chocolate cafe in Sydney and took everyone hostage.

Andrea Putting: Now this guy did this in the name of Allah, he was saying, flew a jihadist flag, and so he was trying to get this message across that this was somehow Islamic. As a result of this, at the end of it Two innocent victims and the gunman passed away, were killed. Now it left the country, it was kind of, [00:02:00] collectively we held our breath, because we didn't know how we were going to respond.

Andrea Putting: Would there be an outpouring of hate to the Muslim community? Were they safe to go out? A lot, they were scared. They, some of them were taking off their religious garb in the street. They would stay home. They were afraid. Which is fair enough. Now, the gunman was a crazy man, he was known to the police as being, uh, being crazy, but, so, but what had happened was, 150, 000 people flooded social media with the hashtag, I will ride with you.

Andrea Putting: They were offering to ride public transport. The bus, the train, the ferry with Muslims to help make sure that they got to where they wanted to go safely. So, that's what happened. We had this outpouring of love instead of this, instead of responding in fear and hate, it was love and peace. So 12 months later, I've got to do something.

Andrea Putting: Why can't we keep this feeling going? Why can't we continue to reach out in love and peace? [00:03:00] And that's when I started Chocolate and Coffee Day for Religious Harmony. So it's just very simple, reach out to someone different to you and sharing chocolate and coffee and have a conversation. Because that's when we get to know people and those barriers break away.

Andrea Putting: That divide community since then, it's like that was 2014 chocolate and coffee day has become chocolate and coffee breaks because we want chocolate and coffee every day and there's lots of other opportunities. So I work more into not just religious harmony, but cultural diversity so that people can connect with each other.

Andrea Putting: But that was my social mission. So that's where it all started. On this journey when I started to see that, hey, having a social mission does something to you. It lifts you up. It gets you out of bed when you're feeling down. It gives you a bigger purpose in life than just going to work. Then I liked to integrate the two and found that [00:04:00] This is an amazing way of changing the way people feel about going to work, but it wasn't just going to work.

Andrea Putting: It was exploring how individuals get involved in social mission and how they, they volunteer with things or they start their own movements or. And so I started a podcast, Social Mission Revolution, where I explored that and started to understand what it was about and how it changed people's lives. So that's where I started.

Andrea Putting: And from that, now I've developed, I wrote two books on the, on the subject, which give guidance to people about how they can get involved in social mission, how they can find that perfect volunteer gig that's going to fill their heart, make them feel like they're doing something worthwhile. While helping.

Matt Feret: That's a wonderful story. And, uh, wow, what a, what a noble thing. And it started with a very, very bad and traumatic thing, and, uh, it's turned into something that now, and [00:05:00] it's, I guess, ninth year of iteration, where now you've written books and are trying to help people, and really get the message across, it sounds like, like this is not only valuable to the community, it's also valuable to oneself.

Matt Feret: At what point Right. Did you in your journey decide or understand that while you were creating this, that it also helped you as an individual, not just helping others? Did you, did you know that going in? Or did you kind of experience that sense of reward, comfort, satisfaction after you started and after it took off?

Andrea Putting: It was definitely not. Uh, instant thing. I didn't even think about it at all because it was just something that had been in the back of my mind and then I got to the October of the following year because it was in December and I said to my mother, when's chocolate and coffee day? And she goes, I've never heard of it.

Andrea Putting: And it was like, damn, I have to start this. I have to be the one who does [00:06:00] this. So I definitely wasn't thinking about what it would mean to me. All I could see that this was a need that, and I had to do it. I can't not do it is kind of my catchphrase that I use. You've got to find that thing that you can't not do.

Andrea Putting: And so I just did it and found out later that after the day and after the experience of it the first time, I just kind of, it just kind of sat with me and it was like, yeah, this feels good. This is a good thing to be doing. So that's when I started to explore, I started to research, and then I started to talk to people about it and to say.

Andrea Putting: What they do and how that feels to them. So it all just kind of came together when I started to find this research that was saying that people who volunteer have happier and healthier lives. They have a greater social network and they live longer. Ooh, I think I like that. Right, 

Matt Feret: those aren't bad things.[00:07:00] 

Andrea Putting: Yeah, and so I think that's a really good thing for us to carry into. Our senior years is to go, Hey, I want to fill my life with good people. I want to fill my life with happiness and health. How better to do that than to get involved in some kind of social mission, whether it's volunteering or. Whatever it is, let's do it and join together and do something 

Matt Feret: great.

Matt Feret: And you started, the reason I asked that question that way is I would think most people in air quotes, most people would try to find a place to volunteer and try it out. And you kind of did the opposite is you created a home for people to volunteer even before volunteering yourself. I mean, that's a, that's a big difference, right?

Matt Feret: Is that your recommended way of doing it? Of just starting an idea from scratch or. Again, given your experience, given you did the hard way first, really, is it, you know, someone thinking about this, or it's always in the back of their mind, maybe a church, it [00:08:00] comes up maybe in their professional lives or chances to, to volunteer.

Matt Feret: Where should people start thinking about this in terms of their lives? Is it when Is it when the kids are out of the house? Is it when the kids are in the house and you want to create, you know, this is part of their lives? Or is there really no bad time to start thinking about volunteering? 

Andrea Putting: I would say there's no bad time to think about it.

Andrea Putting: I have always volunteered in some form or another, so I'd never set out to set up my own thing, my own social mission. What I really believe with, with all the research and the conversations I've had and then my own Family experience is that the sooner we can start volunteering in our life, the better now, and I, I recognize that we have really busy times in our lives, especially when you have a young family, my own experience.

Andrea Putting: When my children were growing up and my husband, I was, I was studying [00:09:00] at college, I was doing double diplomas and, and things, I was just doing crazy things as well as bringing up the children and my husband was working 80 hours a week. So I know how busy and stressful life can get. And when I look at that, I see the effects that that kind of lifestyle has.

Andrea Putting: on our children. I see that, I see it happening time and time again outside of my own family that that's what's happening. Now I, while I was studying though, my other focus was purely on my children. So they had that, but it was a luxury. In our life that we made that decision and it's not a luxury that people can necessarily take in this day and age.

Andrea Putting: I don't know what it's like in America, but in Australia for young couples to get a house or even pay the rent, they need to both be working. So it's really difficult [00:10:00] on, on the family life. Now finding something in their work that fills them up and brings them joy. Is vital in that if they just come home stressed from all the work of piling up and up and up, that's the messages they're giving to their children, they're going to come home and they've got, they're just, they can't even deal with their children in many cases, put me in front of a screen because that's all they can manage.

Andrea Putting: But if they have that spark in them, that somehow what they're doing in life is making a difference. To somebody greater than just going to work each day and they come home with that experience of joy Then that at least is going to give the children something bigger to work towards rather than just making money So I think that it can it can change the the whole dynamics in a family if there is some kind of element of that That's a different topic than what we're talking [00:11:00] It's a different market, but what I'm getting to here is that when businesses are involved in social mission, then that gives people who are that busy that opportunity to feel like their day to day work is making a greater difference in someone's life.

Matt Feret: Yeah, and if you don't have that at work, then your advice is likely then to go seek it out outside of work. 

Andrea Putting: Yeah, how can you do that? Now, while I say that, I know we're busy, so there is so many different ways you can be involved in social mission. For people like that, I definitely do not recommend you go out and start your own thing.

Andrea Putting: Don't do it, don't do it, find something else you can be involved in, but it can be as simple as you can make it the most simplest thing that I can think of off the top of my head is that I have a friend who during COVID is an extremely busy man, but his thing was Okay, we should all call a friend every day during COVID [00:12:00] because we're in lockdown a lot in Melbourne, just about the whole year.

Andrea Putting: So his thing was, I'm going to call a friend every day and see how they are. Now, that was simple, very simple things that we can do. There's other people who just, the one story that I had was somebody who grew flowers. So they would take those to a hospital and give them to, to the hospital. You know, things like that.

Andrea Putting: There are so many simple things that you can do. That can become your social mission or just including the way that you live as a social mission. So some of the people that I spoke to in my podcast, they do things like encourage people to recycle, they encourage people to, Oh, there's a telecom company who gives a portion of your monthly subscription to a charity 11 charities that you can choose from.

Andrea Putting: So you get involved in things like that. If you can't do anything else, you can do that. Yeah, so [00:13:00] there's always something that you can do no matter how busy you are now If you've got the time the energy and the money, well, there's other things you can do too 

Matt Feret: Right. Well, but I think your point is well said which is it doesn't have to be super formalized It doesn't have to say like I am volunteering twice a week at this particular soup kitchen and I'm giving 100 a week You know, it doesn't have to be so Monumental so much of a task.

Matt Feret: It can be as simple as Growing flowers and giving them to the hospital. Yeah. 

Andrea Putting: Right? Another example that I have is, is that a lady that I, that I know, she, she collects books and gives them to children in poverty and low income families because they don't have, because they don't have money for books.

Andrea Putting: She's grown her, her charity to being quite large and she sends books all over Australia. Now one of the things that she does is she has these mornings where people come and help So that's something that people can just go, well, I can't do it. [00:14:00] I can just go and spend one Saturday morning with her and do that.

Andrea Putting: But what actually happens is she also encourages people to bring their children. So another lady I know who's a very busy lady, she'll take her son there. On time, when she can fit it into their life, is she'll take her son there and they sort books in the morning and he's only seven or eight. So she's giving her child the experience of making that difference.

Andrea Putting: So he knows what he's doing. He understands that that's for other children. And he always gets to take away a book of his choice as well. So it kind of It gives him that reward of this is something good to do, but you know, we can just once in a while, we can make that effort to do something that can fill our hearts for a little while.

Andrea Putting: And then when we feel we need something, need to need an extra buzz, let's go do something 

Matt Feret: else. Uh, makes a lot of sense. So let me fast forward a bit into people considering retirement. Or considering paring down their work hours. Or whatever word, you know, if you don't want to use the, the nasty R word of retirement.

Matt Feret: I'm [00:15:00] never going to retire, that's fine. But let's just say a certain age or stage where you're really starting to think about giving back. The pressures of life, uh, may not be child rearing, uh, perhaps college tuition. Whatever, caretaking for, for your, you know, other family members or your mom or your dad.

Matt Feret: In either which way, you might have a little bit more time on your hands. Or, even if you don't, you want to begin to give back. It's something that's been in the back of your head for a while that you'd like to do for now, not only right societal benefit, but also selfishly your own, right? You like the feeling of giving back.

Matt Feret: It makes you feel good, which is not something to shy away from. As I've heard you say, there's nothing wrong with that. You know, you wrote a book on this. How do I think about this in my brain? Where do I start when I'm considering this stage and age of, I'd like to volunteer. 

Andrea Putting: Yes. And I think it's a really important thing to, to go into it in, with your eyes open.

Andrea Putting: So it's easy enough to go, Oh, well, I'm interested in, in such and such. I'll [00:16:00] just go and like, I like animals, so I'll just go and help out at the local animal shelter or something. Now, then you could be literally piling, digging shit, you know, and that may not fill your bucket. You're filling other buckets, but you won't be filling your own bucket.

Andrea Putting: Yeah. So I. I believe it's really important for us to, to look into how it is that we can be doing volunteering in a way that's going to fill our bucket, which is why I had the whole methodology in my book about looking at, we look at our values, what's really important to us. How do we feel? What, what are those things that are important?

Andrea Putting: What are our stories? What are those stories that, that come to mind that have made you who you are? What about the, those things in life that get you excited and get you out of bed in the morning when you don't feel like getting up? early. So I got up early this morning to get on this podcast. [00:17:00] So, because doing this brings me joy.

Andrea Putting: So what is it that brings you joy that's going to get you up in the morning, that's going to get you going? So if you're the kind of person who loves calculating figures, then hey, let's Put that on your list, or you might be really good at that and but hate doing it, so you don't want to be doing that.

Andrea Putting: You've got to find those things that excite you. So one of the things that I also talk about in, in my book is finding your love language and looking at that as a way of. Well, what are those things that, that I do kind of naturally that make me feel good that I really love to share with people? One of my, I have two love languages that are pretty close, but one of them is quality time.

Andrea Putting: So that's what chocolate and coffee is all about, sitting down with someone and having that quality time. And other. Other volunteering things that I do are also involved in providing that quality time with people [00:18:00] and touching their lives. So, when I do those things, it brings me alive. So, what is your love language and how can you express that in the way you volunteer?

Andrea Putting: So, you're putting all these things together and finding that thing that really speaks to you. And then you put it all aside and, and see what really percolates in your life, what comes up that's going to fulfill you. And I, this way we come up with what it is that we can't not do, that we just get so excited about that we just have to have to do it.

Andrea Putting: Now, while I say I'm saying all this, if I go back to my own story and where I started Chocolate and Coffee Day, I'd actually done all this work before that because I was in that stage of going, well, what is it that I need to be doing in my life? Where am I? to focus my life and then I had all of those kind of stories and my values sorted [00:19:00] out and I knew the things that excited me.

Andrea Putting: And then suddenly this was placed before me. So it often happens like that, because I was ready to accept that. I was ready to see, I could see where my skills were. I could see what was going to bring me joy. I could see how I could develop that, because I already had. Done these bits of work and I just find that is just so important because if you go in to do a volunteer job and you get the job that just doesn't excite you, you're going to feel like you're being taken advantage of, you're going to feel like you're just not going to want to go.

Andrea Putting: It's going to feel like work. Yeah, it's going to feel like work and I don't want this to feel like work. I want it to feel like play because that's when we know that we're doing something that's of real value. 

Matt Feret: Maybe it's just me and if it's my weird brain. Then I'm sorry, but if anybody else out there watching or listening has the same thing, perhaps I'm going to just going to say it, your approach is actually [00:20:00] novel to me because you start with the what brings you joy.

Matt Feret: So in other words, when I say, like, I'd like to volunteer in my brain, I say, I would like to give some of my time, energy, effort and expertise to a cause. Or to help people, or help animals, or whatever that may be. And I guess, up until this point, until you just said what you said, I was attempting to approach this, I think, in a way of, well, where is the greatest need?

Matt Feret: Then I would point myself in that direction. That's the way I've felt about volunteering, you know, when I, when I've, uh, had friends or business associates that have, you know, that were raised in the foster care system here in the United States and it's bursting at the seams and people need, you know, uh, peer, you know, mentors for teens in the foster care system and, you know, I hear this kind of a, we need volunteers and if, oh gosh, You know, the bat signal went up.

Matt Feret: You [00:21:00] need me. I'll go, but that's not the way you're suggesting to approach it. You're suggesting to approach it of what fulfills me first. And then where do I fit? Why did my, why is my brain gone to the run to the run to the house fire instead of figure out what, what, what brings me joy and pleasure?

Matt Feret: What's wrong with my brain or why, why should I, why am I thinking of this and not the other way? Am I, am I abnormal in thinking that way? No, 

Andrea Putting: not at all. There is nothing wrong with thinking that way. I think that's how a lot of people have started volunteering. Yeah. What I, what I'm just, yeah, no, no. And, and if you go, well, you could say that that's what I did too.

Andrea Putting: I saw, saw a need and I fulfilled it. However, after I had done all this work, I knew that it was something that would bring me joy. So, really what I'm saying is that if you've done all this work, if you've looked at this, you don't know where you want to volunteer or how you want to [00:22:00] volunteer. And you've looked at yourself, you know what you've got to value, then when you look around and you see, okay, well, they need assistance with, with that organization.

Andrea Putting: How is it that I can best serve that's going to serve them at the greatest level? That will also bring me 

Matt Feret: joy. That makes sense. Yeah. I like that. So I, you have to consider, I mean, I'm, I'm paraphrasing and you tell me if I'm getting this right. You have to consider your S your own self satisfaction, even though it may seem right.

Matt Feret: Volunteering is self less. Thinking about yourself first, you could consider selfish in your own brain, but you're saying you're saying be a little selfish because you're not serving anybody. Well, if you're not being a little selfish and understand what you love, where your passions are and the joy that you have in the experience.

Matt Feret: If you [00:23:00] don't do that and you just go run to the house fire, you're not really serving that house fire as well as you could be because you could have run to another house fire that would have been better. Is that, am I getting 

Andrea Putting: that? Yeah. So would you be better at running the house fire if you had trained to be a firefighter first?

Andrea Putting: Thanks. Of course. 

Matt Feret: And I liked it, right? And I liked being a firefighter. I would be way better at that, at that house fire. 

Andrea Putting: Yeah. And, and so there's nothing wrong with, with running to the house fire so that you can do the emergency care, but that's not going to be something that you're going to do every, every day.

Andrea Putting: You might, there might. Things are still going to come up where you've got to jump in and just go, well, I'm just going to do this, but on a long term, we want what's sustainable and what's sustainable is what brings you joy. And there is that old thing about, you've got to look after yourself. You've got to fill your own bucket first.

Andrea Putting: You have to fill your own bucket so that if that, when that overflows, then you're going to be of greater service to others. So what I'm really doing is saying, when you can be [00:24:00] selfish about what it is that you love, then you can be of a greater service. To others. 

Matt Feret: That's a great perspective. You sprinkled in some of this earlier, and I'm going to ask you to maybe, and I get it, you don't, you don't have to quote, you know, you don't have to cite your sources or cite the work, but as people transition from working full time to working part time or fully retiring, there's a lot of changing me positive, right?

Matt Feret: All I ever wanted to do was sit on my rocking chair and fish, or all I ever wanted to do was volunteer or on the other end of the spectrum. I'm scared beyond belief. Now what? I have nothing to do. Can you talk about the word fulfillment and what role volunteering plays in people's lives as a sense of, uh, social interaction, fulfillment, right?

Matt Feret: Filling that bucket up and how just how important it is if you're considering retiring or or slowing down the work or [00:25:00] going to part time work. How important is it around this age and stage of, let's say, Okay. 60s, 70s, mid to late 50s, uh, to, to really begin to be engaged and give some good thought around volunteering.

Andrea Putting: It's a very good question because I'm currently working with my husband. Uh, well, he's at that age. He's been working full time and he's Working probably one and a half full time, but he's starting to talk about that cut down to, to three days leading into retirement. And so I'm starting to, to sprinkle him, into him the ideas of well, What is it that you can do with your time?

Andrea Putting: Okay, right now, that's almost, it's almost too much for him to think about because he is working ridiculous hours, seven days a week. But I'm sprinkling those ideas to start thinking, well, where is it that I'm going to be doing, going? What [00:26:00] can I do? Because when you have no purpose, your life becomes empty.

Andrea Putting: But that's where depression comes, I think, I believe, for me, really, I really strongly find that if I'm feeling like my life is, there's been points where I felt like I had no, didn't know what I was doing, I didn't have anything necessarily to do. That's when I fell into a depression and I got into a quite deep depression for a while, but it was only through volunteering that I picked myself up and got myself going again.

Andrea Putting: So I think in this part of life. Okay, there are things that we want to do. We want to explore. We want to, we want to do those fun things in our life and that's great. And we should do them. We deserve to do them. However, there's going to come a time when we go, all right, what's next? Right. How can I fill my life?

Andrea Putting: It's been fun doing all this stuff, but what else? What can I do? Because we don't have that [00:27:00] purpose, we end up like some of the people in my mother's aged care facility, who are just kind of sitting there doing nothing. I've known a lot of old people, elderly people, who have just sit in their chairs and watch TV as they get into retirement, and they become the cranky old men and women.

Matt Feret: It doesn't seem like a very fulfilling life, especially if you're physically able, um, so, um, you're saying that journey definitely needs to start before you, You go from three days to zero or five days or in your husband's case, seven days a week to zero, because I'm sure it's a bit of a shock, right? You wake up and, and if you've identified yourself and your purpose partially, wholly, or even partially through your work and your work identity, I'm sure it can be really lonely and really jarring to wake up and go, what is my purpose?

Matt Feret: And you're saying volunteering can definitely provide that. 

Andrea Putting: Absolutely. You hear from time to time people who retire and then the next day or the [00:28:00] next week they drop dead. Yep, I've heard that. And all I can do is think that they've suddenly gone, well, my life is over. Yeah, 

Matt Feret: it's weird to think of that, isn't it?

Andrea Putting: Yeah. Yeah. 

Matt Feret: Like, that might be one of the reasons, I mean, Who knows, right? 

Andrea Putting: Yeah, who knows? But I'd like to think that if we leave our retirement, we leave with, with purpose. We, when we leave our work, we leave with purpose. I've got this purpose now of There's a gentleman that I know, I've known all my life and when he was 71, he said to me, he was, he was talking to me about how he got involved in, in a charity and he was doing all this, this work for charity.

Andrea Putting: Now this man, all his life, he dedicated his life to helping and serving people through his business, through his church life, but he said to me, for the first time in my life, I feel like I'm making a difference. 

Matt Feret: And you're like, how you've made a difference your whole [00:29:00] life, but he still didn't, didn't feel as if 

Andrea Putting: he did.

Andrea Putting: So it was only once he got to 71 and he was starting to, to get involved in, in this, he'd only retired a year or so earlier and, and was now. Fully committed to doing something else, he still has time to go and do all the other things he loves to do. He still travels and, and goes fishing or whatever he wants to do, but he's also got this that makes him feel like he's doing something of value in the world.

Andrea Putting: And without that, it would be, uh, there's just this emptiness without that. Without a purpose, there's emptiness. So that just gives us that, that reason to just keep going, to get up in the morning rather than vegetating in bed. Or in front of the TV, 

Matt Feret: if you have a partner or a spouse still with you along this life's journey at these stages, I'd imagine it's pretty important to align those things as well.

Matt Feret: Is it? 

Andrea Putting: Yes. To have that value [00:30:00] in life of I'm going to make a difference through my retirement. Absolutely. You've got to have, you need to have that agreement in your life, because if you've got one, if one of you wants to go off and travel the world for 12 months and the other one's gone, but I want to volunteer, I want to do something, you're going to have to have some kind of compromise.

Andrea Putting: You're going to have to agree to something here about the way you live your life in retirement. But it doesn't necessarily mean you need to be doing the same volunteering gig. Hey, maybe it's better if you don't. Maybe it's better if you have that, that separation between the two. If you're not used to working together all the time, well, maybe you need that.

Andrea Putting: For other people, they're going to do really well working together on a, on a 

Matt Feret: cause. Nice. A couple of minutes ago, you, you started to tell me the steps through the book. Um, and then, and then we went on a bit of a a different road. I want to come back to the book. I mean, it's a related road. It's the, you know, it's the same speed limit.

Matt Feret: It just was off that particular highway. How does this book help people? If someone's interested in learning how to go through these steps of that you've outlined, [00:31:00] what does the book walk me through? 

Andrea Putting: It walks you through the steps of just exploring who you are, what's important to you, what are those things that you're going to find joy in so that you can start to see things with.

Andrea Putting: A new perspective. So that when you look at, at a volunteer opportunity, you're going to be going, I really liked that cause, but doing that, I'm not going to, that's not going to be sustainable for me. What I'd really like to be doing is, I don't know, I've got to think of something, don't I? 

Matt Feret: No, fill in the blank, right?

Matt Feret: It's going to be different for everybody. And that's part of what you're helping them walk through. Yeah. 

Andrea Putting: Yeah, so what I really like to be doing is blank. So is there an organization within, say, maybe I've come up with 10 that I'm interested in. Is there a position in one of those? That needs this particular thing or these, these few things that I enjoy doing is that does one of them have one of these that I can get involved in so that that opens the doors [00:32:00] into something else that just goes well, so that when you do find it, you're going to come alive.

Andrea Putting: You're going to be excited about that. If I 

Matt Feret: have those 10 possibilities, should I feel bad about dating all 10 of them? In other words, you know, if I go to my first one and they're like, Oh, we're so glad you're here, please right? Stay, I'm going to feel a little guilty about going on that second date with the other with the other piece.

Matt Feret: Or should I go back to being like, Nope, really? Honestly, I'm better serving an organization if it's if I make sure it's the best match for me, 

Andrea Putting: I in the long run. Yes, you're better off making it the best match for you because you're going to be able to serve at a greater level. You're going to be able to serve longer and you're going to, it's going to be more playful for you.

Andrea Putting: So if you're serving in a place that's not quite right. When there's somewhere else that's going to be right, then you'll, you'll want to be there. I think 

Matt Feret: it's really insightful. Uh, one of the many pieces I took away was, yeah, it's, it's a [00:33:00] match. Because if it's not a match, it's not going to be as fulfilling or meaningful to you as the person.

Matt Feret: And it's not going to be as impactful to the organization and the people and the causes they serve. Yes, you're not a hundred percent in they're not getting a hundred percent of you which hurts the overall piece 

Andrea Putting: simple 

Matt Feret: That's right existential questions and fulfillment simple

Matt Feret: Well, I'm, I'm really glad we had this conversation and I'm really glad you wrote a book about it. So obviously on the website, I'll have links to the book and of course links to your website, et cetera, for people to find out more. But before we go, are there any questions or topics that we didn't cover or questions I should have asked that I didn't?

Andrea Putting: Not necessarily. I'd like to just share, share my mother's social mission because she turned 86 yesterday. And 

Matt Feret: it's my mom's birthday too, by the 

Andrea Putting: way. [00:34:00] Lovely. And she is a, she's just, we've just moved her into an aged care facility. She has early dementia. And you know, her health just isn't, isn't great. And she has to use a walker.

Andrea Putting: But when I was writing this book, when I got to the end chapter, I thought, I'll sit down and have a chat with my mum because I didn't know what to do with the end of it. And I thought, I'll just see what I can't with talking to her. And I asked her about, about what she does and what's important and what her message for the world was.

Andrea Putting: So what I, what she was telling me was, or what was important to her was to, to go and talk to somebody. See someone who's lonely, who's Who maybe doesn't feel good and just go and have a conversation with them and, and listen to them. And so that, that was her social mission as a doltering old lady on a walk with her walker.

Andrea Putting: That was what she was doing. She was reaching out to people just to try to make them feel less lonely. And now, you know, in the [00:35:00] aged care facility, she's doing that. She'll go and see someone who's lonely, who feel, looks like they, they don't have anyone around or they, they need a little bit of help.

Andrea Putting: She'll go and do that. And sometimes I've seen her rushing around to find the nurses to help somebody and it's just like, okay, mum. Settle down. It's okay. There's people here. They can help, but she's got to take, follow up on her social mission of just reaching out to someone and caring for them. So her message was be kind, be kind to each other.

Andrea Putting: And so why I'm saying this is that it's just so, for everybody, there is something that they can do. It doesn't matter how old, how healthy, how unhealthy, there is something that you can do. 

Matt Feret: Do something. Yeah. I like it. And, um, it was also another good reminder. Of, um, you know, you don't have to stroke a check for ten thousand dollars.

Matt Feret: To your favorite charity to make an impact. You don't have to go to, you know, [00:36:00] some big, huge organization to be volunteering. You can literally make it your social mission to volunteer in your own way, individually, one on one with people that may not even know you're volunteering with them. 

Andrea Putting: Yes, and my, my catchphrase is if you touch one person's life, you change the world.

Matt Feret: Wonderful. Andrea, thank you so much for being on the show. This 

Andrea Putting: was awesome. Thank you, Matt. I really enjoyed speaking with you.

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Matt Feret is the host of The Matt Feret Show, which focuses on the health, wealth and wellness of retirees, people over fifty-five and caregivers helping loved ones. He’s also the author of the book series, Prepare for Medicare – The Insider’s Guide to Buying Medicare Insurance and Prepare for Social Security – The Insider’s Guide to Maximizing Your Retirement Benefits.

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