Elon University students brought a campus coffee shop employee to tears on Monday when they surprised her with a magical gift.
Taylor Zisholtz and Lucy Smith-Williams knew that longtime North Carolina coffee shop employee Kathryn Thompson always wanted to go to Disney World. When they learned her reason why, they started a GoFundMe campaign with the hopes of helping her dream come true.
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The Huffington Post says Thompson told the students she wanted to bring her grandson, who has autism, to the theme park to meet his favorite character, Mickey Mouse.
“When she said it’s my dream I thought, ‘well there’s 6,000 people [on campus] with at least a dollar, so we can probably make this happen,’” Zisholtz told Elon Local News.
It only took them three weeks to raise the $6,500 they needed to send Thompson and her family.
On Oct. 6, Elon Local News shared a video on YouTube of the students surprising Thompson with her fully paid trip. She breaks down in tears as Smith-Williams explains how the entire community came together to show their appreciation for her.
“Are you serious?” Thompson asks as she hugs them.
They also handed her a gift bag of Disney-themed T-shirts, one for everyone in the family to wear on the trip. The girls mention in the video that another generous donor purchased the shirts.
To date, they’ve raised more than $9,000 and donations keep pouring in.
When Thompson and her family arrive in Disney, there may even be more surprises in store for them.
“Thank you for reminding me of why I go to work every day,” Kate Vanderburgh, who identifies herself as a Disney World cast member, wrote on the GoFundMe page. “Please feel free to contact me… as I’d love to try and create magic for them.”