Two students at North Carolina’s Elon University have raised enough money to send Kathryn Thompson, their favorite employee at a local coffee shop, to Disney World for the first time in her life.
Thompson, who has worked at the coffee shop for 10 years, has always wanted to bring her family to Disney World, but isn’t able to afford it. Elon students Lucy Smith-Williams, a freshman, and Taylor Zisholtz, a junior, who befriended Thompson after a number of late-night coffee runs, decided to help Thompson get her dream vacation.
“I really took to her warmth, and I’ve seen her here a lot and she’s always in here,” Zisholtz told the Elon Local News. “Just from talking to her, she was very invested in where we were from and what we were doing, and when she said ‘It’s my dream,’ I thought, well, there [are] 6,000 people here with at least a dollar. We could probably make this happen.”
Smith-Williams and Zisholtz launched a GoFundMe page in Thompson’s honor, and calculated that it would cost $6,000 to send a family of five — Thompson, her son, daughter in law, and two grandchildren — to Disney. Within three weeks, the $6,000 goal was met, and the donations continue to pile up, including a $1,000 donation from a GoFundMe employee.