Two Elon University Students Save A Lot Of Money To Send Coffee Shop Worker To Walt Disney World, Fulfilling Lifelong Wish

A trip to Walt Disney World is something that could very well be a once-in-a-lifetime event for many people in the word. There are also those who may never be fortunate enough to be able to go, and Kathryn Thompson thought she was one of those people. Little did the coffee shop employee know that two Elon University students went out of their way to raise enough money to send the barista to the happiest place on earth.

According to the Elon Local News, students Lucy Smith-Williams (freshman) and Taylor Zisholtz (junior) raised almost $7,000 to present Thompson with a trip to Walt Disney World for her and her family. The employee of the Acorn Coffee Shop was moved to tears by the gesture of the girls and the some thousands of students at Elon.

elon university walt disney world

Thompson has worked at the coffee shop for over 10 years and one night, she was talking to Smith-Williams and Zisholtz about a lifelong dream. That dream was to head to Walt Disney World and take her whole family with her.

The two college students saw how much passion and energy and work that Thompson put into each and every shift. They also knew how sweet and kind she always was to everyone, even when her shifts lasted long into the night, sometimes past 2 a.m.

Zisholtz knew something needed to be done.

“I really took to her warmth, and I’ve seen her here a lot and she’s always in here. 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.”

It was then that the girls started a GoFundMe page for Kathryn Thompson and hoped that enough people would help raise the $6,500 needed. In less than three weeks, their goal was met and that even included a donation of $1,000 from a GoFundMe employee, according to Zisholtz.

“I called GoFundMe and they said it’s kind of like their employee of the month gets to choose a cause to donate to. We were lucky enough that he chose us.”

After the money had been raised, the girls knew it was time for the reveal of the Walt Disney World trip and it went perfectly. Thompson’s family includes her son, daughter-in-law, and her two grandsons who will also be surprised by this surprise trip.

Once she finally realized what was going on, Thompson broke down.

The New York Daily News reported that Thompson was just completely and totally taken aback by the sincerity and kindness of the two college students and all those that donated money. She’s just looking forward to when her grandsons can see Mickey Mouse and she wants to watch their eyes light up.

A date has not yet been set for the trip as Smith-Williams and Zisholtz didn’t want to take that away from Thompson. They are looking forward to when she begins all the preparations and gets ready for the trip.

kathryn thompson walt disney world

Kathryn Thompson was presented with some Disney shirts for her whole family and even a couple of presents for the kids. Those items were donated by others who merely wanted to contribute to the cause of making the family’s wishes come true.

Elon University has a lot of great students, and two of them are Taylor Zisholtz and Lucy Smith-Williams. They took it on their own shoulders to make a coffee shop employee’s dreams come true. Kathryn Thompson is going to Walt Disney World, and it is all because of the kindness and huge size of the hearts in those two women.

[Images via Danny Cox/YouTube/Disney]