All she wanted to do was take her grandson to Disney World. Her loyal customers made it happen.

Kathryn Thompson may not know too many of the local college students who hang out at the coffee shop where she works, but many of them know her.

Photo by Elon Local News/YouTube.


And they knew that she had a dream: to take her family, and especially her grandson — who has autism and loves Mickey Mouse — to Disney World.

Photo by Chris Harrison/Flickr.

Two of those students, Lucy Smith-Williams and Taylor Zisholtz, really wanted to make Thompson's dream a reality — so they set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the trip, according to a report in Elon Local News:

“I really took to her warmth, and I've seen her here a lot and she's always in here," Zisholtz said. “Just from talking to her, she was very invested in where we were from, what we were doing and when she said 'it's my dream,' I thought well there's 6,000 people here with at least a dollar. We could probably make this happen."

Smith-Williams and Zisholtz raised the money in less than three weeks. On Monday, they surprised Thompson with the news.

And she couldn't hold back the tears...

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

She was so happy that her grandson would finally get to meet his favorite character.

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

Thompson has wanted to take her family to Disney World for a very long time.

She was disappointed that she couldn't make it happen herself financially. Now, thanks to dozens of students, she has $6,000 to make the trip. Even GoFundMe itself contributed, donating $1,000 to the cause. And now, her Disney-obsessed grandchild will get to have the time of his life.

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

A commenter on the story, claiming to be Thompson's sister, says no one deserves it more:

"My sister, Kathryn, is the hardest working, sweetest, kindest, most loving person in this world. She works 2 jobs EVERY day! She only has 4 hours of sleep a night. She gets up every morning and it starts all over again. She gets home around 2 am from the Acorn and goes to work early in the cafeteria of a local school. She would give anyone her last breath, her last penny or the shirt off her back. She is kind, loving and giving. I am SO thankful for the recognition these dear college students are giving her for her dream of going to Disney! Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!!!"

Thompson had a message for the students and customers who helped make the trip happen.

GIF via Elon Local News/YouTube.

Congratulations, Kathryn Thompson.

Here's hoping you and your family have the world's best time.

You can (and should) watch the reveal and Thompson's reaction, which was caught by Elon Local News, below:

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.