MACON COUNTY, Tenn. - Most teens spend their summer hanging out with friends or putting in time at a summer job, but one Macon County teen has been spending her summer working for free.
18-year-old Lindsey Knight has racked up more volunteer hours than anyone in the county. Knight has put in nearly one thousand hours volunteering since she was 14 most of them at the Macon County Hospital where her mom works at as lab tech.
"My mom needed some help, she was exhausted so I said why can't I come to work with you?" said Knight.
Helping her mom turned into a passion for helping people as often as school and sports would allow. The Macon County hospital has a small staff and the volunteer coordinator needs every set of hands. Most of the local volunteers put in a few hours a week, but Lindsey picks up 12 hour shifts in a night.
The tasks aren't always pretty, sometimes filling water pitchers and taking out trash.
"When I have to bring jars of urine in here and stuff it's not the greatest thing to see in the morning," explained Knight.
Knight said she believed that if "you can learn to work without pay you can learn to appreciate pay".
But the lessons she's learned are priceless. She said she just wishes other teens would try it too.
"I hope they can learn to help other people, it's not all about yourself, other people county too
All those hours earned Lindsey a $500 scholarship. She's headed to college in the fall. She wants to be a psychologist and says she still plans to volunteer at the Macon County hospital as much as her new schedule will allow.