PERU, Ind. -
Charlene Hutchins is no doubt one of the country's biggest Loretta Lynn fans, and in the past decade she's paired her passion for the country star's music with her passion to serve others, especially the elderly.
Charlene and her husband George have performed their "Sounds of Loretta Lynn" show more than 1,000 times at more than 100 different venues, such as the Hickory Creek nursing home in Peru, and that service has earned the couple a Jefferson Award.
"She's been coming to our facility for 10 years, and like I said, 90 percent of our residents love country music, and they love Loretta Lynn and they just get a piece of Loretta Lynn here, and that's wonderful for the residents," said Barb Townsend, activities director at Hickory Creek.
Currently, Charlene and George volunteer their services eight or nine times a month.
"(George) does all the driving, he does all the computer work, he does all the photography. He makes sure I'm buttoned up, zipped up, makes sure I got my shoes on the right feet," Charlene said.
And they both get the residents' toes tapping and minds moving, something that brings a smile to everyone.
"Every time I get a chance I like to see her," said Hickory Creek resident Henry Hileman. "(It) just makes me feel good being here."
Making the residents feel good and giving them something to look forward to is what keeps this couple going.
Giving back to the community is something Charlene and George Hutchins plan to keep doing for as long as they can, and they encourage others to get out to a local retirement home.
"Take a walk down the hall, give someone a hug or a handshake. You'll be amazed at how much it'll do for them and for you," Charlene said.