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