Making a difference in the world is usually easier said than done, but you wouldn’t be able to tell that by looking at Franklin High School student Zach Wolfson.
Wolfson, a freshly-turned 17-year-old junior at FHS, is the founder and director of Threads of Care, an outreach program that aims to supply teens in need with winter coats via assistance and donations from other teens.
Wolfson came up with the idea in middle school when he put together a coat drive to fulfill school community service hours.
Once he had decided on a coat drive as his form of service, he ran into the dilemma of what to do with the coats once they had been donated.
After doing some research, he discovered and toured the Oasis Center in Nashville where he was able to identify a community need.
“One of the things I was noticing was there was not a lot of teen involvement,” said Wolfson. “I thought there’s clothing that is not being provided to these teens and there are teens not necessarily going out and helping their community. What if I could inspire people just like me to help people just like them?”
That community need helped him come up with the organization’s name.
“I felt that the name itself described what we do,” Wolfson said. “We are teens helping teens one thread at a time.”
A product of Trinity Elementary, Wolfson is zoned for Page High School but chose FHS to be part of the International Baccalaureate program.
While IB is what brought him to FHS, Wolfson said that isn’t what he loves most about his school.
“At first I came here because of IB, but I’m finding more and more each day I’m here that one of the defining characteristics of FHS is just the spirit here,” said Wolfson. “Pep rallies are amazing, and it’s so cool to go to football games and hang out with friends. I also noticed that at least socially here, there’s not that clique mentality. The stereotypes that typically exist in high school, they don’t seem to matter here.”
The community feel at FHS is something that gives Wolfson hope that TOC can continue as a Rebel tradition once he graduates, and he already has some students in line to keep it going when he leaves.
“My picture perfect scenario when I leave TOC is that it will still be going strong and another class will keep it going,” said Wolfson. “I don’t just want this to be something I do and stick on a college resume and then forget about, because I feel that that’s not what a community service project should be.”
Wolfson still has another two years before he departs FHS, but he has already begun to visit and narrow his college prospects down to a few front-runners.
Right now he considers the University of Virginia and George Washington University to be his top choices.
After college, the sky will likely be the limit for Wolfson who also participates in speech and debate, mock trial and captains the cross country team, but one thing is for sure: he wants to leave the world better than he found it.
“The purpose of humanity is to serve each other,” said Wolfson. “Whatever I can do to best serve my country and the world, that’s what I’m going to do for my future.”
Threads of Care currently has 10 ambassadors including ones at Brentwood, Franklin, Independence and Ravenwood high schools. The organization is looking for additional ambassadors at Centennial, Nolensville, Page and Summit high schools. For more information, go to www.threadsofcare.org.