Two thoughtful students made an elderly woman’s dreams come true by raising enough cash so that the long time coffee shop employee could take her family to Disney World.
Kathryn Thomas has worked at the Acorn coffee shop on the Elon University campus in North Carolina for the past decade
During a late night conversation with Elon students Taylor Zisholtz and Lucy Smith-Williams, Thomas told them that her one wish was to take her kids and grandkids to ‘The happiest place on Earth.’
The college girls didn’t know each other before that moment, but they both knew they had to do something. Taylor told the Pendulum, “I moved my stuff to Lucy’s table, and we were just brainstorming ideas because I looked at her and was like, ‘We’re doing this, we can do this, we have to do something’.”
The two started a GoFundMe page to raise enough money for Kathryn to take her son, daughter-in-law, and two grandsons to Disney World – which the girls estimated would cost around $6,000.
In an incredible display of how much those on campus loved Kathryn and the coffee shop, it took only three days for the page to raise $6,500, and one month later, the page has raised $9,500 and counting.
The video above shows the beautiful moment when the girls, both sporting Mickey Mouse T-shirts presented the gift to an emotional Kathryn, along with some bags of Disney goodies and a poster from the GoFundMe page with all the kind comments she’d received.
“It was really exciting,” Smith-Williams said. “Of course she’s really shocked, so she didn’t understand at first, but once we explained it to her, she was so surprised. It was everything we hoped for.”
The entire coffee shop yelled, “Surprise!” and Thompson’s jaw dropped.
“Are you serious?” Thompson asked through her tears as she was handed a bag of donated Disney shirts for her and her family. “It’s a dream come true. I love y’all.”
Zisholtz and Smith-Williams explained to her how they have been raising the money for the trip through donations from a GoFundMe page since September. All she needs to do is pick a date and pack her bags.
It has been Thompson’s dream to go to Disney World because she’s always wanted to take her autistic grandson to meet his favorite character, Mickey Mouse.
Taylor has since written an extensive thank you update to everyone on the GoFundMe page update. She said, “I have said it before but we just truly had one of the most shocking days today as we witnessed the love and generosity pour in from across the country. Kathryn is an exceptional person and deserves every ounce of love she is receiving.”
She additionally clarified that “every cent of donation is headed to make Kathryn’s trip as incredible as we can possibly make it for the whole family.”